One extremely interesting aspect of GHA was the variety of liveries that their buses and coaches sported. With the numerous types of vehicles this made GHA a fascinating company to follow from an enthusiast point of view. Whilst some of the liveries were designed for specific routes it was not unusual to find these vehicles on other services. This occurred quite frequently in the latter months of the company.
This page, hopefully, demonstrates the wide variety of liveries used and offers some history of these liveries.
The titles for the liveries set out below were not necessarily used by the company. References below to 2016 relates to when the company ceased trading.
'New' GHA Service Bus
This livery was introduced Spring 2015 - with the new' gha coaches' logo
21 vehicles were given this livery, all single deck, by 2016..
GHA Low Floor
This was the standard livery for service buses which were low floor and was used for single deck vehicles and double deckers with low floor capability. The first vehicle to be given this livery was X9GHA when it was purchased new as the first low floor vehicle in September 2000. It was replaced by the above livery in 2015
49 vehicles had this livery in 2016
This was the standard livery for most of the coach fleet including midi coaches and mini coaches. More vehicles had this livery than any other.
70 vehicles had this livery in 2016
This was the standard livery used for non - low floor double deckers
8 vehicles had this livery in 2016
With the same vinyls as the GHA Silver this livery was used on white based coaches and was also the standard livery for non - low floor service vehicles.
There was an older variant of this livery without swirls (as seen below) which was still worn by 2 mini buses in 2016 - N2 and N3GHA
8 vehicles had this livery in 2016
This was the standard livery for the Vale Travel fleet for single deck service vehicles including low floor and coaches. The last vehicle to be given this livery was Solo YJ60KBN when it was acquired second hand in November 2012.
5 vehicles had this livery in 2016.
This was the standard livery for the Vale Travel fleet of all double deckers
10 vehicles had this livery in 2016
This was the standard livery for the Bryn Melyn fleet which was introduced in 2008 to replace the livery below
4 vehicles had this livery in 2016
Bryn Melyn 'old'
This older version of the Bryn Melyn livery was the one used prior to the company joining the GHA Group and it was used for a few years after the take over for vehicles joining the fleet. In 2016 it was still being worn by 1 x double decker P604CAY and 1 x minibus R669UCC - (withdrawn]
This livery was used by vehicles undertaking tendered services in East Cheshire. It was first seen on the two Versas operated by Vale that were allocated to the 88 Altrincham - Knutsford service in early 2009 and it was introduced on GHA vehicles on the new Solos allocated to the Nantwich area contracts later in 2009.
16 vehicles had this livery in 2016
Flintshire Connections and Lynx
At one time vehicles operating Flintshire County Council tendered services would normally be required to carry this livery and the local authority would assist financially in the painting of the vehicles. However Flintshire changed its policy in about 2013 and no further vehicles were given this livery. There was a red variant of the livery which appeared to apply to vehicles operating service with links outside the County.
4 vehicles had this livery in 2016 N8GHA N9GHA H87DVM AA57GHA (red variant)
Denbighshire GHA [Old]
Two vehicles operating from Ruthin were given a variant of the old GHA low floor livery which had different colours (white, green and blue) but to the same pattern
2 vehicles had this livery in 2016 - CN06 BXS and S903 DUB (withdrawn)
Denbighshire GHA [New]
A further variant of the now new GHA (Service Bus) livery with the green and blue emerged in March 2016 but only one vehicle was given this livery - YJ59NMX
This livery was introduced in 2008 originally for both GHA Coaches and Bryn Melyn vehicles used on the 5 Llangollen - Wrexham. For a while this service extended to Corwen, Ruthin and Rhyl but the branding was not changed. From April 2015 these vehicles worked the 5 service to Llangollen and the 5C Wrexham to Cefn Mawr
6 vehicles had this livery in 2016
Introduced in 2009 in collaboration with Cheshire West and Chester Council for use on the Dee Bee services around the Chester area.
5 vehicles had this livery in 2016
X50 – X52
Used from 2009 by vehicles that operated the Rhyl to Wrexham route. In addition to the five Volvo / Wright Eclipses the livery was given in 2011 to Scania N113CRL /East Lancs UYM551 (M404EFD) which was withdrawn in 2013. In 2015 the livery was also given to Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown R13GHA (R234HCD). Interestingly two low floor double deckers (W471BCW and Y166NLK) also received this livery but were only occasionally worked the service.
8 vehicles (including 2 double deckers) had this livery in 2016
The four Optare Versas carrying this livery were owned by Flintshire County Council and were required to operate solely the SP1 / SP2 services Mold to Ellesmere Port via the Deeside Industrial Estate. In addition to the Versas YJ09OTN/P/R/S which arrived in 2010 BA04GHA was also given this livery in 2011 losing it in 2013.
4 vehicles had this livery in 2016
This livery was introduced in 2014 and used for the 88 Knutsford to Altrincham service and also from 2015 the 42 Congleton to Crewe Service
7 vehicles had this livery in 2016
'Into the Port'
There were two variants of this livery orange and green and it was introduced in late 2011 and used by vehicles operating the Ellesmere Port local services 6 and 7.
4 vehicles had this livery in 2016 (X9GHA, YM52TPO, YM52TPU and T789KNW)
This livery was introduced in 2004 for the tendered Line 9 service which originally operated from Mold to the Countess of Chester Hospital. The first vehicles to obtain this livery were BA04GHA, CA04GHA, AA52GHA and BA52GHA. The '52' vehicles were branded for the 9 and 14 service to Denbigh. In 2007 Dart SK52UTT was given this livery. In 2009 three Volvo / Wright Eclipses AA58GHA, BA58GHA and CA58GHA were purchased, given the Line 9 livery and they replaced the other vehicles. The route varied with time and eventually the allocation was reduced to 2 vehicles. CA58GHA was painted out of the livery at the end of 2013 and in 2016 the only vehicles left in the livery were AA58GHA and BA58GHA.
Originally in 2009 there were two vehicles involved in the provision of the Ruthin 'fflecsi' service which carried this livery. The service was reduced and one of the Solos (DK09ENW) was give a different livery (Cheshire Connect). DK09ENV was the only vehicle with this livery in 2016
Originally two of the Solos YJ06YRL and YK05CBX operating in the Ceiriog Valley and passing through the World Heritage Site involving the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct were given this livery in 2012 – but due to cuts in the service only one vehicle worked the service and carried the livery in 2016 YK05CBX
This route from Wrexham to Whitchurch regularly had vehicles which carried branding for this 146 service. In 2002 the first vehicle to carry a special 146 livery was Optare Excel N206LCK. In March 2004 Volvo (VDL SB120) /Wright Merits AA04GHA and GA04GHA were the pair that took over the route 146 working and were given a special livery. The last pair to work the service and given the livery arrived in 2007 and were VDL / Centros AA56GHA and BA56GHA but one of these (BA56GHA) was destroyed by fire in February 2014 and so only AA56GHA had this livery in 2016.
This was the livery of the network of Welsh government funded routes and specifically used by GHA on the T3 Wrexham to Barmouth route (previously X94). The first GHA vehicle to be given this livery in June 2015 was Scania OmniCity YR14HLU. This vehicle returned to Scania in May 2016. Four vehicles purchased new in June 2015 ADL Enviro 200 YY15FZF and Scania N230UD / Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s SN15ETF/E/G arrived with this livery and were in the fleet in 2016.
A number of vehicles which joined the fleet retained their plain white livery sometimes awaiting vinyls.. One such vehicle (VT59VLT) remained without vinyl branding since it had been new in 2009. Other vehicles in plain white include three 'lift' minibuses obtained for special contracts in the Winsford area.
12 vehicles had this livery in 2016
Normally the reason for vehicles to carry a plain silver livery would be while waiting for vinyls to be applied. Howevere one Council owned Solo YJ09EZH which was allocated to Bryn Melyn for most of its service remained in plain silver. In 2016 in addition to this Solo one coach GA08GHA, one midi-coach 7052VT and a minibus CU03JDJ were in plain silver.
Two Volvo B10B / Wright Renowns R838PRG and R839PRG carried this livery as received from their previous operator - Go North East. They were both used on the Warrington to Northwich service and could have been confused with the livery of Warrington Buses who also operated that route. One Volvo / Plaxton President double decker Y188NLK remained in the red of its previous owner Metroline. Two vehicles that ran for a while in an all red livery were two Dennis Darts with Marshal bodywork T112KGP and T115KGP which arrived in their former London Central livery. They were eventually both given GHA low floor liveries.
One Ford Transit Minibus that transferred from Shropshire Bus and Coach remained in plain blue - DU60XTB
Yellow based school and college
Some of these vehicles were plain yellow whilst others had a yellow base with various lettered brandings. Two examples surviving until 2016 retained a prominent 'Dobsons' branding - Olympian K656UNH and Javelin / Plaxton Derwent H620RAH . There were two double deckers that carried a logo for 'Student Transport'. The Bryn Melyn branding (5 vehicles) BX54VTM/VUB/C/D/F had 'Safe child transport' and an invitation to 'hire the vehicle'. Leyland Tiger / Alexander Belfast Q - H278LEF was given a branding of 'School Bus - Bws Ysgol' and also showed the welsh version of school bus in the destination screen. Weirdly this was based in Macclesfield for just over a year!!
There was a total of 21 vehicles with a yellow based livery in 2016
Vehicles with liveries of their previous operators
Normally GHA did place vehicles acquired from other operators into their own livery - but occasionally these buses did work in service for GHA before this occurred.
Some of the examples of these are seen bellow including :-
MX55BYD came to GHA in February 2014 from K&H Doyle Coaches Ltd. Alfreton Derbyshire where it once worked a contracted service to Tesco carrying their all over advert. It operated for GHA in this livery for a couple of months before gaining the low floor livery in May 2014. For a while it operated from the ruthin depot in this livery
S490UAK was the only vehicle that joined the GHA fleet when the operations of Rogers of Graigfechan were absorbed in April 2013. This Mercedes Benz / Plaxton Chettah stayed in this livery until the end of 2013. when it was given the GHA silver livery. In June 2015 it was re-registered to TIL7583.
Liveries of operators taken over
In two cases the livery of operators taken over were not only retained but further vehicles from the fleet were given this livery. The two examples are Hanmers and Chalinors.
Chaloners were taken over in April 2003 and only one bus Mercedes / Beaver H738TWB. In early 2006 GHA purchased this former Arriva Kent and Sussex Beaver R110TKO and gave it a slightly revised version of the former Chaloner livery. It was given this cherished number of R3GHA. (Photo courtesy Richard Glaister)
Hanmers was taken over in August 2000. A number of vehicles retained the Hanmer livery and three GHA vehicles were later given that livery. These were Toyota Optimum N243NNR, Merecedes Reeve Burgess TIL7583 and Volvo / Van Hool RHY147.
Two Enviro 200s YY15CMX/Z which were purchased new in 2015 for the Congleton town services were given a special 'Beartown' livery to match the nickname of the town. The photo below was taken at the formal launch for these services in March 2015. Both vehicles were in service during 2016.
101 Shoppa Hoppa
The company were awarded in early 2012 a special contract to operate a service in Wrexham named the '101 Shoppa Hoppa' which unusually went through the pedestrianised area of the town centre. One Council owned Solo - YJ09EZK was utilised for this service and was given the special livery. The service only survived about a year and the bus was used for a further year working a number of services including the 21 Buckley Town Service. It lost its vinyls for the 101 service in July 2014 and ran in plain silver until August 2015 when it was given the GHA new low floor livery.
This unique livery that was only sported by one vehicles - BA08GHA (MX08DFU). It ran between September 2008 and February 2015 in this livery and was mainly utilised on the 1/2 Mold to Ruthin corridor although from time to time it could be found on other services.
GHA Gold Service
In March 2005 this livery was given to the newly arrived Dart BA05GHA. In addition the livery was also given to Solo NA04GHA (YN04XZB) at that time and these vehicles were utilised on the 40/1 Wrexham Industrial Estate service during the day and the Minera service at night (which was operated by Arriva during the day). In April 2007 Dart AA53GHA was given this livery and the Solo NA04GHA was put into the standard GHA low floor livery. AA53GHA was still being used with this livery in 2016 but BA05GHA was involved in a substantial RTC in early 2014 and was not used afterwards.
Prior to the revamp of the Ellesmere Port to Mold service into the SP1/2 in August 2010 the service had been designated the 111 service. Initailly this service only operated as far as Hooton Station. There were a number of varieties of this livery. The first version of the livery was given to Mercedes Benz / Alexander Sprint G183PAO. The second version was given to V7GHA and V8GHA when they arrived new in September 1999. AA53GHA and CA53GHA were also given this livery when they arrived new in October 2003 and V7GHA was taken out of the livery. This brought the vehicles working the service to 3. The third version of the livery was introduced in 2006 with the arrival of second hand Dart / ALX300 VX51PZM. This livery was also applied to similar VX51RBO and to Dart / Pointer 2 SK52UTU in April 2007. In 2010 the liveries on these vehicles were changed after the introduction of the revised SP1/2 service.
Vehicles operating services in Denbighshire were often given a Vale Rider livery. There were two versions of this livery. The first version was worn by Volvo B10M-61 / East Lancs TIL8034 (NCS121W, WGB646W) and TIL8035 (TOS550X) , Mercedes / Alexander Sprint M413BEY, Mercedes / Beavers M459UUR and P3GHA and Solo W677DDN. The second version introduced in 2006 was worn by Darts V8GHA, Y201YNB, N725KGF and J52EDM. The last one to be taken out of this livery was Y201KNB which it sported until January 2012
Two vehicles that were assigned to work the B5/40 services which operated between Ruthin to Mold and then to Chester via Treuddyn were given this livery to indicate that the route included Loggerheads Country Park. Solos AA02GHA and X319CBT only carried this livery for a short period.
Red, Cream and Bergundy
Two new Optare MetroCitys YJ15AWN/O were purchased in March 2015 and their initial use was to operate services in Warrington in competition with Warrington Buses. A livery similar to Warrington buses appears to have been deliberately chosen. GHA withdrew from the Warrington area in April 2016 and the two buses were redeployed mainly working from Shrewsbury in this livery.