Colwyn Bay Borough Council 1925-1986

Transport in Colwyn Bay in the early part of the century had been provided by the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Electric Railway, who operated a tramway service between Colwyn Bay and Deganwy, passing through Rhos-on-Sea, Penrhyn Bay and Llandudno, and by Crosville Motor Services, who provided local services, so it was not until 1925 that Colwyn Bay Borough Council (although until 1st April 1934 Colwyn Bay was an Urban District Council), turned its thoughts to providing its own sea-front service along the promenade.

Although Colwyn Bay had two vehicles delivered in June and August of 1925, the Act giving the necessary powers to operate a bus service was not passed until the following year. Nos. 1 and 2 (CA7849, CA8222) were 16-seat Guy toastracks on Guy J chassis and were used to inaugurate the sea-front service between the railway station at Old Colwyn and Rhos-on-Sea in 1926.

In August of that year a third Guy J (No. 3: CA9422) was delivered, this time with 20-seat toastrack bodywork by Guy.

Due to the size of the fleet it was not considered practical to have a separate transport department and so the fleet was administered by a traffic manager employed by the Borough Entertainments Department.

The original livery is thought to have been red and cream, but a change to green and cream was made later, probably about the time of incorporation as a borough in 1934, but it may have been later.

A second service to Colwyn Bay Zoo commenced in later years, although the exact date is unknown. Both services were run on a seasonal basis and an increase in the number of summer visitors led to an increase in the size of the fleet, which at its maximum stood at seven vehicles.

In 1928 another Guy toastrack was purchased, and further Guy’s were added to the fleet between 1934 and 1937. No further vehicles were added until after the Second World War, when another Guy Wolf was purchased.

Thereafter vehicles were added only rarely as summer visitors slowly declined, and the rise in the number of visitors using private motor cars caused the number of vehicles in the fleet to dwindle to a low of just two buses.

In 1983 the Zoo service passed to local operator Les Hughes of Rhyl and the sea-front service became an all-year round service, requiring the use of only one vehicle (although one was kept as a spare). 

In September 1986, with the prospect of de-regulation looming, the Council decided to dispense with the sea-front bus service completely, bringing to an end over 60 years of municipal bus operations in Colwyn Bay.

In preparing this history reference has been made to the following sources;
The Directory of British Tramways (Keith Turner, PSL 1996); Municipal Buses in Colour 1959-1974 (Reg Wilson, Ian Allan 1997); PSV Circle Fleet History PC16A; Buses (various editions).

Bus Fleet List 1925-1986 |