Two new Caetano Scanias for Llew Jones’ expanded Nat Ex work

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Some of the Llew Jones’ National Express team: MD Steve Jones; NX Ops Exec Christine Parry, Driver Philip Jones; NX Manager & DTO (Driver Training Officer) Tim Doyland; Mechanics Rob McCallow and Damien Hughes; Workshop Manager Pete Worthy; and Mechanic Colin Shaw with their Irtec certificates

Second new NX Scania Levante to follow in July for Llanrwst-based independent operator

North Wales independent operator Llew Jones has expanded its National Express (NX) coach work, after being awarded the contract to run the 555 Bangor to London service, via Liverpool, Birmingham and Milton Keynes from Monday (February 20).

The new route replaces the three NX diagrams already operated by the Conwy Valley firm – the 385 Bangor to Manchester, 544 Manchester to London and the 090 London to Southend-on-Sea.

To run the service, a new two-axle Euro 6 Caetano Levante-bodied Scania has been acquired, with a second example due to follow in July, carrying a 17-plate. These will join Llew Jones’ current NX fleet, which includes two current 12-plates.

The Llanrwst-based operator has also invested in its people, including its dedicated team of NX drivers, contract monitoring team and maintenance staff. The latter have gained the Institute of Road Transport Engineers Certificate (Irtec) maintenance qualification. The firm is determined to reach the NX’s Gold Standard for Service at the earliest opportunity. The additional NX work has led to the recruitment of seven new posts at Llew Jones, which follow on from the additional 16 new recruits last year, after the demise of GHA Coaches.

Llew Jones Managing Director, Steve Jones, told CBW: “We are really pleased to have secured such a substantial contract with NX as we know how high the standards are. What this demonstrates to all SMEs in North Wales is that we can compete with larger national and multi-national companies if we have the right people and infrastructure in place. NX has become an increasingly important part of our business.
“At Llew Jones, we are proud to be able to offer secure and varied employment to local people with passion and commitment and we continue to invest in their training and development throughout their career with us.”

In addition to NX work, the 60-vehicle fleet is engaged on schools, private hire, local bus and third party tour work. While three-quarters of the fleet is based at its headquarters in Llanrwst, the remainder is outstationed at Chirk, Craigfechan and Rhug.