Express Motors

Express Motors was a bus and coach hire company based in Penygroes, Gwynedd. The company operated public bus services in the Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Bangor and Llandudno areas, as well as long-distance TrawsCambria service T2 between Bangor and Aberystwyth.

Express Motors
Express Motors Ffestiniog bus MAN 14220 East Lancs Myllennium CX53 FBJ in Porthmadog, Gwynedd 18 July 2007.jpg
East Lancs Myllennium bodied MAN 14.220
in Porthmadog in July 2007
ParentEric Jones
Founded1908
DefunctDecember 2017
HeadquartersPenygroes
Service areaGwynedd
Service typeBus services
Fleet40 (September 2012)
Websitewww.expressmotors.co.uk
Open top ECW bodied Bristol VR at Rhyd Ddu in September 2006

HistoryEdit

Express Motors was established in 1908.[1] It remained a family-owned business and was owned by Eric Jones.[2] It operated a small number of local bus services alongside its main coach hire work until 1970, when the bus routes were sold to Silver Star.[3]

With bus deregulation in October 1986, Express Motors re-entered the local service market. A local route in Caernarfon was introduced in competition with National Bus Company subsidiary Crosville Cymru May. Contracted work on route 1 (Caernarfon-Blaenau Ffestiniog) was won at the same time as part of the Bws Gwynedd network. The operations of Maldwyn Jones were acquired in 1989. A competing route between Caernarfon and Bangor was introduced in 1991 but withdrawn after four years.[4]

In 2005 the company began a new route linking Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog. Two years later the Welsh Assembly Government granted free rail travel to pensioners on the parallel Conwy Valley Line, causing passenger numbers on the route to be lower than expected.[2]

The four bus services operated by Silver Star were taken over by Express Motors along with four buses in November 2010 in a move which reversed the events of 1970.[3]

As at September 2012 Express Motors operated 25 buses and 15 coaches.[5][6]

2016 Crash and End of OperationsEdit

In July 2016, an Express Motors coach carrying 42 children and 6 teachers from a Cheltenham School left the motorway after the driver fell asleep.[7] The coach left the A39 Motorway in France near Lons-le-Saunier and the Swiss border.[8] The bus overturned and came to a stop in a ditch.[8]

In August 2017, an investigation found that maintenance records had been falsified. The company's license was revoked with effect from 31 December.[9][10] Former Caernarfon, Bangor and Blaenau Ffestiniog routes were re-tendered and awarded to Arriva Buses Wales[11][12] and South Gwynedd routes were awarded to Lloyds Coaches.[12]

After the end of Express Motors operations, a submission for a new license under the name Express Motors (Caernarfon) was submitted by former directors of the original company.[13] It emerged during the inquiry that the original company had continued some of its operations into January 2018 without a license.[14] The submission was rejected in February 2018.[15]

In October 2018 the owner, Eric Wyn Jones and his 3 sons also involved with the business, were jailed for fraudulently claiming over £500,000 for 88,000 journeys never taken. The sentences ranged from 6-7.5 years.[16] The men had previously been arrested on suspicion of fraud.[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ About Us Express Motors
  2. ^ a b "Bus firm losing out over free rail trips". Wales Online. 8 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b Millar, Alan (November 2010). "Silver Star gives up its local bus routes to Express Motors". Buses Magazine. Ian Allan Publishing (668): 8.
  4. ^ Saxby, Bob (Autumn 1996). "Bws Gwynedd: The end of an era". Buses Focus: 36–42.
  5. ^ Our Fleet - Buses Express Motors
  6. ^ Our Fleet - Coaches Express Motors
  7. ^ Mathews, Jane (23 July 2016). "Two Cheltenham teenagers seriously injured after bus crashes in France after driver fell asleep". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Cheltenham school pupils injured in France coach crash". BBC News. 23 July 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  9. ^ France crash bus firm Express Motors to lose licence. 22 August 2017. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-41010373
  10. ^ Two family-run companies have bus licences revoked. Thursday, 24 August 2017. By Antony Gedge. Cambrian News http://www.cambrian-news.co.uk/article.cfm?id=116017&headline=Two%20family-run%20companies%20have%20bus%20licences%20revoked&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2017
  11. ^ "Express Motors Cease Trading". Arriva. 20 December 2017. Archived from the original on 21 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b Crump, Eryl (19 December 2017). "Passengers fear impact of service cuts as new operators take over Gwynedd routes". DailyPost. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  13. ^ Crump, Eryl (17 January 2018). "New Express Motors to bid for licence to operate Gwynedd bus services". North Wales Live. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  14. ^ Crump, Eryl (17 January 2018). "Bus firm 'operating without licence' when it took schoolchildren, tribunal hears". North Wales Live. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  15. ^ Crump, Eryl (26 February 2018). "Bid to set-up 'new' Express Motors thrown out by Traffic Commissioner". North Wales Live. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Express Motors: Bus owner and sons jailed after fraud". BBC News. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  17. ^ Crump, Eryl (2 October 2018). "How Express Motors' proud 100-year history was brought to a shameful end". North Wales Live. Retrieved 27 January 2021.

External linksEdit