SCHOOL bus services across Leeds have been affected after the largest privately owned bus company in the region went into administration.
Geldards Coaches Ltd went into administration on Friday just over a month after a blaze caused major damage at the company’s base on Ashfield Way off Whitehall Road, Farnley, Leeds.
The company, which was founded in 1991, employs 50 staff and runs a fleet of 50 vehicles.
Administrators are now looking for a buyer for the business.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Comombined Authority (WYCA) said alternative operators have been found for all five schools services that Geldards ran under contract on their behalf.
Geldards also ran services to Rodillian Academy, Royds, Morley High and Woodkirk schools in Leeds on a commercial basis.
WYCA has made arrangements to maintain these services from today, but some pupils’ journeys to school may be disrupted.
Two commercial routes run by Geldards – the 711 service between Bradford and the White Rose shopping centre in Leeds and the X11 service between Pudsey and Leeds – are not running today and new operators are being sought for those routes.
A West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesman said: “We are working hard to ensure there will be a smooth handover of services to new operators and avoid, as far as possible, inconvenience to customers.
“However we wanted to let people know what is going on if they hear rumours about services disappearing or they experience some initial disruption.”
A spokesman for administrators Begbies Traynor said: “On 11 September 2015 Bob Maxwell and Lee Lockwood of Begbies Traynor in Leeds were appointed as joint administrators of well-known West Yorkshire coach company, Geldards Coaches Limited.
“From its Leeds base, the company operated a wide range of routes in the local area for daily school transport, excursions and group travel, as well as offering executive coach hire.
“In August 2015, there was a fire at the company’s premises off Whitehall Road in Farnley which destroyed half of a coach repair workshop and damaged three vehicles.”
Joint administrator Bob Maxwell said: “Unfortunately, it is commonplace for companies subjected to a major fire not to survive and this is the case here.
“One of our key concerns has been attempting to minimise disruption to the services operated by Geldards Coaches, particularly the school routes it provides.
“We have spoken to all the customers and we are in the process of arranging to provide emergency cover where required. If parents are in any doubt, they should contact their school.”
For more information, go to www.wymetro.com and the schools and young people’s transport website generationM at www.generationm.co.uk
The www.generationm.co.uk website was this morning providing the following informaton about school bus services operated by Geldards in Leeds:
• 876 at Menston St Mary’s will be covered by Red Bus Days.
• CC21 at Corpus Christi will be covered by Tetley’s Coaches.
• FA1 at Farnley Academy will be covered by Square Peg.
• HG22 at St John Fisher/St Aidan’s will be covered by Square Peg.
• HG23 at St John Fisher/St Aidan’s will be covered by J&B Travel.
• HG24 & HG27 at St John Fisher/St Aidan’s will be covered by A&A Travel.
• HG26 at St John Fisher/St Aidan’s will be covered by Travel Xpress on Monday 14 September. Please check back for updates on longer-term coverage.
• L14 & L15 at Royds will be covered by Yorkshire Tiger on the morning journey and Globe Travel on the afternoon journey. Note, The morning journeys will have an earlier start time of 0718am from Hunslet District Centre.
• L16 at Royds will be covered by Globe Travel.
• L17 at Royds will be covered by M Travel.
• L51 (and L51A afternoon journey) at Bruntcliffe will be covered by Safeway Coaches.
• L52 at Morley Academy will be covered by Yorkshire Tiger.
• L53 at Woodkirk Academy will be covered by Safeway Coaches.
• L74, L75, L76, L78 and L79 at Rodillian will be covered by Yorkshire Tiger. There will be revised timetables AM & PM - please see the note at the foot of this page for details.
• MM21 at Mount St Mary’s will be covered by Travel Xpress on Monday 14, Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 September.
• MM22 & MM23 at Mount St Mary’s will be covered by Hunters Coaches.