Sunday, 4 March 2018

Crosville Capitualtion

In amongst weather related headlines on March 1st this news item appeared locally in Somerset.
Like anything written by The Fourth Estate, this does not quite tell the whole story. A letter ("to whom it may concern") is circulating in the Weston-super-Mud area.
This confirms that Crosville Motor Services (based in Weston) will cease trading after business on April 21st.

John Wye, the company's manager ...
... has also announced that the last day will be a "Farewell Day".
Sounds a good "do"!

fbb last wrote about Croswille back in March 2017 (read again) when the company had announced its withdrawal from all routes operated in competition with First Bus.

Since then, there has been further contraction and, currently, only two conventional bus services are operated. There is the seafront service 100, operated open top in the Summer but currently with an hourly "normal" service.
There is also route 106 ...
... the (tendered?) remnant of a once significant town network.
The company also operates shoppers buses for Tesco in nearby Burnham-on-Sea ...
... and ASDA in Taunton.
All this will end on April 21st.

"What about EDF?", cries our loyal reader.

EDF (French Company) is currently building the Hinkley Point "C" Nuclear Power Station ...
... using Chinese money, to be repaid, ultimately, by a stonking great increase in our domestic fuel bills. No private motorist is allowed on site and a company called Somerset Passenger Solutions (SPS) ...
... won the contract to supply several Park and Ride (type) services from local villages and motorway junctions.
SPS is jointly owned (50/50) by First Bus and Southern National. Like the necrotic Crosville, the "new" Southern National is a resurrection of an old company name.
Southern National is owned by JJP Holdings which also owns Crosville.
JJP is, in turn, owned by Jonathan Jones-Pratt ...
... and, as far as fbb is aware, the EDC operation will continue.
It is difficult to find out what actually runs for the EDF contract as access to timetables is password protected and is only available to employees.

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fbb also assumes (because JJP himself is an enthusiast as well as a businessman) that his heritage vehicles will still appear in public.

There are a couple more companies to complete the group.

Kinlet Hall and Thornbury Castle Ltd looks after two classic steam engines.
The Hall is being "serviced" at Tyseley but is due to return to the West Somerset Railway when the work is complete.
The Castle is a work in progress at the company's depot.
The restoration of 7027 Thornbury Castle will take time, specialist skills and considerable finance to complete. To this end, a detailed plan has been drawn up to ensure that the loco is rebuilt in line with a viable business case for the future. With this in mind, links are being forged now with tour operators and Train Operating Companies so that our loco has meaningful work to do at the end of the restoration.

Which leaves just one.
Our multi-talented entrepreneur will move your heavy stuff for you with his super "rig"!

All this begs a few questions. Does it really make sense to base a bus business on competition with another (and bigger) bus business? Can an entrepreneur keep a weather management eye on a wide range of business activities and be successful in all of them?

And will the steam bus still appear from time to time in Weston?
It would be really, really disappointing if its fire went out for good. (Picture above is from operation in Whitby).

But, sadly, it will be Adieu Crosville on 21st April.

 Next variegated blog : Monday 5th March 


  1. Is there more to this than meets the eye? This week's Notices and Proceedings lists a Public Enquiry and a Transport Manager Public Enquiry later this month for the Managing Director.

  2. JJP has just resigned as a director of SPS.

  3. Andrew Kleissner4 March 2018 at 13:01

    They had a Public Enquiry last year too:

  4. What is it about operating buses in the County of Somerset ? I have lost count of the number of small/meduim sized operators who have given up the game in Somerset, over recent years.

    All it needs now is First (BoS) to 'do a Devon' and quit the county and I think they would be totally bereft of bus operators.

  5. Found on Salisbury Reds facebook page:

    Snows gone!!!!

  6. A bit sad, but it is good to see a company executing a responsible closedown and settling its debts rather than collapsing owing money to all and sundry.