Bus users in Wrexham will soon benefit from the launch of a new budget bus operator.
EasyCoach is part of the easyGroup family of brands, led by billionaire easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
From Wednesday 27 June, easyCoach’s trademark orange and white buses will serve Wrexham and the surrounding area, and the man at the wheel of the enterprise, founder Andrew Martin, is confident locals will enjoy an improved service at lower prices.
Andrew says: “The Wrexham bus service network has fared badly recently, with the closure of two out of three major operators since 2016. Having just one dominant operator isn’t great for the consumer, so we saw an opening for an innovative brand that would bring a breath of fresh air to the town. We guarantee fares will always be lower than our main competitor’s, giving customers more bang for their buck.”
EasyCoach launches with four main services. Route 2 operates from Oswestry to Wrexham five minutes ahead of Arriva West Midlands. Likewise the 2D Wrexham to Cefn-Mawr will leave five minutes before Arriva’s 2C service. Working in tandem, both easyCoach routes will deliver a service from Plas Madoc, via Ruabon and Johnstown, to Wrexham Bus Station every 15 minutes.
“Reinstate much-missed services”
EasyCoach will also reinstate the much-missed Wrexham to Wrexham Industrial Estate bus, operating as route 42. Similarly easyCoach’s new route 44 will offer a service from Wrexham to Barker’s Lane at 30-minute intervals.
Andrew says: “Getting out of town to the industrial estate, as well as getting into town from residential areas, has been extremely difficult for anyone without a car. EasyCoach is set to change that. Besides cheaper fares, we will also have promos throughout the year, as well as concessions for passengers who are retired or disabled.”
EasyCoach will also make it simpler and cheaper to get from Wrexham to both Liverpool and Manchester Airports.
Andrew explains: “We already run easyBus airport shuttles from Wrexham. Anyone with an easyBus ticket to the airport can now travel for free on an easyCoach into Wrexham bus station, and then it’s a simple change for the airport service. This won’t just save money, but also means more convenience for passengers and fewer cars on the road.”
Andrew’s wife Sarah hails from nearby Shrewsbury, so the entrepreneur, who recently sold his French easyBus business to National Express Group, is delighted to be creating jobs in the local area.
“10 drivers recruited”
So far 10 drivers have been recruited, including one who has decided to come out of retirement. All will be thoroughly trained to provide the best in customer service ahead of the 27 June launch.
Andrew says: “There are no security screens on our buses so the driver isn’t separate and hidden away. We want them to be open and available to help the public, which builds relations with our valued passengers.”
Work is currently being completed on the easyCoach depot in Rhosymedre, which is being painted orange in keeping with the easyGroup’s instantly recognisable colour.
If the Wrexham service proves a success, Andrew hopes to expand into other towns as well.
“Passengers feel they deserve more”
He says: “The philosophy of the easyGroup is very much about taking on the big boys. We know from feedback in Wrexham that passengers feel they deserve more, and through cheaper fares and better service, easyCoach is well-placed to provide it. We’re a UK company and proud to be investing in the local community. Although we’re focussing on Wrexham right now, we’re identifying other areas where we could potentially roll out the brand.”
Cllr David A Bithell Lead Member for Environment and Transport said the bus industry more recently has seen significant decline and welcomed new services and companies to Wrexham. He added Easy Coach have moved their depot to Wrexham from Shrewsbury which also provides new jobs and a boost to the local economy. Wrexham council wish the new venture a success.REPORT A POTHOLE