North East Wales

Wrexham's GHA Coaches collapse: Public inquiry to be held

GHA coach Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph

A public inquiry is to be held into the licences held by a Wrexham bus company which went into administration with the loss of about 320 jobs.

Ruabon-based GHA Coaches ceased trading in July after the firm received a winding-up petition over unpaid taxes.

It operated public and school services in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham, as well as Cheshire and Shropshire.

The traffic commissioner for Wales will hold the inquiry into the firm's public service vehicle operator licences.

Nick Jones will hold it on 20 September at Welshpool Town Hall.

Mr Jones has also approved that bus services - numbers six, 17, 34, 64 and 146 - which were lost after GHA Coaches went into administration, will now be operated by RJ's of Wem Limited.

It comes after GHA Coaches' directors - brothers Gareth and Arwyn Lloyd Davies - bid to run some of its abandoned routes under a different company.

Councillor David A Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, said: "These won't be like-for-like services compared to the original services, but I'm glad that transport operators will now be able to get buses back on these routes and to affected communities.

"Confirmation from the commissioner for the 42F, 45F and 47F services is expected within the next few weeks.

"We will also make timetables and start dates available on the council's website from Monday."

Meanwhile, it emerged former employees of the company had contacted lawyers about making a compensation claim.

Some 48 workers have approached Manchester-based JMW Solicitors with a view to pursuing action against GHA for failing to consult with them before the redundancies.

GHA's remaining assets - including 200 buses and coaches - are being auctioned off online.

The proceeds are expected to go towards paying the company's creditors.

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