Wrexham bus company D Jones and Son stops running
A bus company which provides school transport and local services in north east Wales has ceased trading with immediate effect.
D Jones and Son, of Acrefair, Wrexham, announced it would not be running any more services after 16 December.
Wrexham and Denbighshire councils have found alternative providers to cover dedicated school transport routes.
Gary Jones from D Jones and Son said the firm was not in administration but had closed its gates.
Both Wrexham and Denbighshire councils have warned children who catch public services could be affected.
Mr Jones said: "This is a very sad time, we have been in business for many years."
He would not confirm how many staff worked for the company but said the company was financially sound and the issue that led to the closure was "more to do with staffing".
Wrexham council said the news had come "without any prior warning", adding disruption to services formerly operated by the company was "inevitable".
A spokesman said: "[The council has] 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 Son."
Councillor David A Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, said: "We would ask members of the public to keep an eye on our social media, and those of transport service providers, in order to check up on the status of replacement services. Updates will also be available on the council's news blog."
The council listed the public services run by D Jones in the Wrexham area - 5, 6, 9, 10, 13b, 35, 41/42, 41B/42B, 44, J50, C56 and 146.
Three schools previously served by D Jones and Son had been found new operators.
- Ysgol Morgan Llwyd will be served by by Straffords Coaches from the Gwersyllt area
- St Joseph's High School and St Mary's Primary will be served by Unicorn Travel from the Brymbo area, E Jones and Son from Gresford and G Edwards and Son from Coedpoeth
- Garth Primary will be served by E Jones and Son from the Trevor area
- Ysgol Bro Alun, Ysgol Plas Coch and Ysgol Brohyfryd will be served by Pats Coaches
Denbighshire council said E Jones and Son would cover the school bus service to Ysgol Dinas Bran from the Chirk and Froncysyllte area until the end of term.
The council said in a statement: "Bus services will continue to operate between Llangollen and Wrexham on service 5 (Arriva) and service Traws Cymru T3 (Lloyd's 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 Bran. Arriva services continue to operate every 40 minutes."
Plaid Cymru North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd said the company's closure was a "direct result of a lack of funding for non-commercial bus routes in the region" by the Welsh Government.
But a spokesman for Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: "In stark contrast to what Llyr Gruffydd states, the Welsh Government has again this year protected the amount local authorities receive for local bus services, despite the challenges we continue to face due to cuts to our budget from the UK Government."
He added the government was seeking an urgent meeting with Wrexham council over the closure.