Western Greyhound ceases trading
Western Greyhound ceased trading on 13 March 2015. The Summercourt, Cornwall based operator closed due to financial and insurance problems. A letter penned by Michael Bishop, who stepped in and bought the operation last December, and handed out to staff, was quoted from in a local newspaper. After mentioning in the letter that his priority is to look after staff, it mentioned a security team has been appointed to protect the company assets. According to the letter, the business was not in a position to pay an upfront payment to the insurer in the timescale given, with the finance company unable to lend money for this. At the time of going to press, all attempts to call the Western Greyhound offices were met with its out of hours recorded message.
Replacement operators for Western Greyhound services have now been found by Cornwall Council. First has taken on the majority of the routes, with Stagecoach and Plymouth CityBus (part of the Go-Ahead Group) also involved. Bodmin Group Travel is running a replacement service for Western Greyhound’s Liskeard School run until the end of the academic year. Former Western Greyhound buses will still be in operation for the time being, but they will not be operated by the now defunct operator. First have confirmed the employment of 22 Western Greyhound drivers with 12 more to follow. All real time passenger information signs have been switched off to avoid confusion while the service timetables are being updated.
MD of First Kernow, Alex Carter, said, ‘We don’t want to see bus users left out of pocket. We’ll be accepting all Western Greyhound tickets on our bus services over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we are working with our Cornwall Council partners to provide replacement services as soon as possible.’
Plymouth Citybus acquired a number of routes from Western Greyhound last December when the business was put up for sale, leading to the creation of the Go Cornwall Bus brand.