Buses and Coaches in Wales: 1980 to 2001 by Mike Street
The final two decades of the twentieth century saw great changes in the bus and coach industry in Great Britain. In the early 1980s the National Bus Company reorganisation saw the Welsh operations of Crosville become Crosville Wales (and later Arriva Cymru); South Wales Transport be acquired by Badgerline, which became part of First Bus; and National Welsh being split to create new Rhondda Buses and Red & White companies, both of which eventually fell under the Stagecoach banner. The remaining part of National Welsh was the subject of a management buyout that failed spectacularly in 1992. In 1986 the remaining council-owned fleets were forced into being run as 'arms-length' companies, albeit at first controlled by their respective councils, with some later selling to larger companies and others closing down. In 2001 only Cardiff Buses, Islwyn Borough Transport (controlled by Caerphilly Borough Council) and Newport Transport remained. Some independent operators expanded and were either acquired by other operators or over-reached themselves and failed. Thus, the picture in 2001 was considerably different to that in 1980. This volume is an attempt to document some of the changes that occurred during those decades.