Arriva Buses Wales could be said to be the direct descendant of Crosville, which commenced in 1906 and was the major provider of bus services in north Wales and also parts of north west England. Immediately ahead of privatisation and bus deregulation in the 1980's Crosville was split into two, with Crosville Wales Limited taking up operations in north Wales and Oswestry. This company changed hands a number of times and became part of the Cowie Group. In 1998, Arriva was then adopted as the new trading name and a common national brand developed. The company name of Crosville Wales Limited was changed to Arriva Cymru Limited in 1998, which is the legal entity under which it operates today.
In 2002, Arriva Cymru merged with Arriva North West and formed what was called Arriva North West and Wales. Arriva North West was the successor company to the southern part of Ribble and also MTL Trust Holdings, which had been formed to operate the former Merseyside Transport (PTE) bus operation.
However from 2009 the bus operations in Wales began trading under the distinct banner of Arriva Buses Wales and the then newly appointed Area Managing Director and senior team were based locally in Llandudno Junction (subsequently moved to Bangor, in 2013) to enable better relationships with the then Welsh Assembly Government, local authorities and other Welsh stakeholders.
Whilst the Welsh business is operated by a distinct legal entity and is led by its own Managing Director, the link to the North West is still maintained. Arriva Cymru Limited together with Arriva Merseyside Limited and Arriva North West Limited form a region of Arriva Bus UK which itself is part of the German Deutsche Bahn AG group. Aspects of working within the region are that a common fleet numbering system is shared and there are usually regular transfers of vehicles between the units. Certain administrative and other facilities & functions are also shared, notably from the region’s Aintree head office.
The depots are as detailed below. The Bangor depot has some outstations. The fleet list below shows the vehicles allocated to the four principal depots at the date shown.
Photo courtesy Richard Glaister