Padarn Bus closes
Padarn Bus in Llanberis, Gwynedd, has ceased operation as a result of financial issues. North Wales Police is investigating an allegation of fraud at the company, DI Stephen Williams at Caernarfon CID confirmed two local people have been arrested as part of the investigation. One, a 28 year old woman, was arrested and interviewed on 24 May. Following questioning she was bailed to allow Police time to complete the investigation. The second, a 44 year old man, was arrested on 29 May and has been released on Police bail pending further inquiries. The statement from North Wales Police added, ‘As this is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to add anything further at this time’.
The directors of Padarn Bus Ltd, which operated 40 bus routes in Snowdonia for Gwynedd and Anglesey County Councils, have instructed insolvency specialists from Baker Tilly to assist is placing the company into creditors’ voluntary liquidation, resulting in the loss of around 80 jobs. Its services came to an end on 30 May 2014. A statement from Bakers Tilly said, ‘The directors explored all other possible options including the sale of the business before taking the decision to place the company into liquidation. Throughout the past month the directors together with their advisers have been working closely with all stakeholders including the Councils, Finance Wales and the Welsh Government to try and find a way to preserve the business, but despite their best efforts this was, ultimately, not possible.’
A statement on Gwynedd Council’s website said it and the Welsh Government have been aware that the company has been facing difficulties for some weeks. The two authorities say they have been working together in an attempt to address the serious problems that could occur for passengers should the company bring their service to an end at short notice. These plans were implemented following the announcement, working with other service providers to ensure some alternative services are in place. The Council’s first priority was to ensure school transport was provided the Monday following the closure, and other public services as soon as possible.
Padarn Bus had been operating for over 25 years and in April 2009 it had purchased the assets of KMP Llanberis Ltd. It operated 45 vehicles on local bus services and private hire as well as school contracts.