D Jones & Son cease trading

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In happier times, an MCV-bodied Dart is in Wrexham town centre. GARETH EVANS

Wrexham area independent shuts down just before Christmas

Wrexham-based operator D Jones ceased trading on Saturday, December 16.

News of the firm’s closure was confirmed by Denbighshire County Council, which informed the public with the following statement: “D Jones & Son, the bus company, has informed us that they will cease trading after last operation on Saturday, December 16, 2017. This affects school and public transport in the Llangollen area. The county council has made arrangements to cover the school bus from the Chirk and Froncysyllte area to Ysgol Dinas Brân on and from Monday, December 18 until the end of term with alternative operator, E Jones & Son.

“Bus services will continue to operate between Llangollen and Wrexham on service 5 (Arriva) and service TrawsCymru T3 (Lloyds Coaches). Pupils who catch buses from the Wrexham direction who normally use D Jones service 5/5C are warned that there may be insufficient seats at school times to and from Ysgol Dinas Brân. Arriva services continue to operate every 40 minutes.”

Reacting to the news, Cllr David A Bithell, the Council’s Lead Member for Transport said: “The council’s immediate priority is to ensure that statutory contracted education transport is provided. Despite the late notice, the council has been able to secure alternative transport arrangements for entitled students.

“Disruption to local bus services formerly operated by D Jones & Son is inevitable. The council has enacted its contingency plan with a view to securing as many replacement bus services as soon as we possibly can. Council staff have been working over the weekend and will continue to work hard to secure new operators for those lost through the closure of D Jones and Sons.”

Public Inquiry

The development comes just over two months after the 19-vehicle O-licence held by the North Wales independent was the subject of scrutiny by the Traffic Commissioner at a Public Inquiry.

An application to increase the vehicle authorisation was withdrawn at the case, which was held in Welshpool on October 5.

While the operator was given a formal warning in respect of the O-licence, the TC found the operator continued to meet the requirement of good repute. However, it had failed to meet the continuous requirement to meet financial standing, but the matter had been fulfilled as at the date of the PI.

“The operator continues to meet the requirement for professional competence, albeit it is tarnished,” the TC stated.

The following undertakings were given and recorded on the licence:

  • Fresh finances to demonstrate financial standing will be produced by April 30, 2018 for the period January 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018;
  • Gary Jones will attend a two-day specialist transport manager refresher course within two months and notify the Office of the TC when this is achieved; and
  • Roller road brake tests will be conducted on alternate PMIs.