Some school and public bus services across Cheshire were thrown into chaos after operator GHA Coaches ceased trading on Wednesday (July 13).
Wrexham-based GHA operates 230 vehicles from six depots and employs between 300 and 400 people.
While the head office and central repair facility is located in Ruabon, near Wrexham, the firm has additional depots at Tarvin near Chester, Ruthin, Winsford (Cheshire West), Macclesfield (Cheshire East) and Shrewsbury.
In terms of school routes, CWaC says replacement buses have been organised for three school contracts serving Helsby and Christleton High Schools. Walkers Coaches are taking pupils on the service 451 to Weaverham High School only.
Other affected schools are Upton High School and pupils from Blacon travelling to Bishops’ Blue Coat CE High School in Boughton.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has posted the following message on its website: “Last night (Wednesday, 13 July) Cheshire West and Chester Council was made aware that GHA Coaches had ceased trading.
"The council has been working with other local bus operators. School children have been prioritised and every effort has been made to provide as much cover as possible.”
The following details have been released:
■ Service 36 will not operate today but cover has been arranged with Arrowebrook to pick up school children in Elton
■ Service 82 will operate hourly at 40mins past the hour from Chester and 40 mins past the hour from Northwich - except for one service that will leave Northwich at 8.35am
■ Service 451 will be operated by Walkers Coaches to Weaverham High School only
■ Service 503 will not run - pupils to use service S1 which will pick up all Upton High School pupils
■ Service 604 will not operate. Pupils in the Blacon area will be covered using the 605 service (with the exceptions of Neston and Blacon Avenue from Parade to Parkgate Road)
■ Service 605 will be covered by Stagecoach
■ Information about GHA 604 and GHA 100 will be updated this morning
■ Services 6 and 7 (Ellesmere Port circular routes) are not operating but seven will be operational again from Monday July 18 with confirmation awaited on a replacement for 6
The council is aware of some routes commissioned directly by schools. It is expected that schools will confirm the status of these services this morning (Thursday).
With respect to the Deeside industrial estate, service DB4 will operate as normal. Service DB1 will operate Chester-Kinnerton from 10am (today only).
More than 300 jobs are believed to be at risk at GHA. The Welsh Government and external consultants had been working with the management of Wrexham based GHA Coaches to safeguard jobs.
It is understood an announcement on the future of the company will be made today.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are aware of the current position at GHA Coaches and the risk to jobs at the company. We are working closely with local authorities to minimise any adverse affect to key bus services in the area.”
GHA has not commented so far.