COACH operator, Edwards Coaches, will be closing its Pembroke Dock depot at the end of this week and will cease to operate school and college runs and coach hire.

The Ponypridd based company took over the county’s education routes, along with four local bus services, in 2016 after Silcox Motor Coach Company Limited ran into financial difficulties. Edwards also re-employed 50 former Silcox staff.

The company confirmed today (Monday) that it will no longer operate from its Pembroke Dock Waterloo Road depot from Friday, January 24.

Last month Edwards gave notice to Pembrokeshire County Council that, on Friday, it would also terminate the 12 education routes, six to local schools and six to Pembrokeshire College, it now operates.

The 14 staff employed at the depot were notified in December that the company would no longer provide the council routes or private hire in Pembrokeshire.

The depot will be taken over Taf Valley Coaches, which will be available for private hire and run coach holidays and day trips from Waterloo Road.

“It is with great sadness and regret that after careful consideration and analysis of the business, Edwards Coaches Ltd will cease to operate from Pembroke Dock on Friday, January 24, 2020,” said Mike Edwards, chairman of Edwards Coaches.

“Over the last three years it has been a pleasure to support the community in Pembrokeshire, a place that holds great deal of personal affection for myself and my family.

“We have worked hard to maintain a safe and reliable service to our customers since the closure of our predecessor Silcox Coaches."

He confirmed that Taf Valley Coaches were renting the Waterloo Road depot from Edwards and would continue to provide a quality service in the county. The two companies have worked closely together during the transition period.

He said that he believed that most of the 14 staff at Waterloo Road had been contacted by the new operators.

Clive Edwards, director of Taf Valley Coaches, confirmed that the company would be running out of the Waterloo Road depot and had so far re-employed six people including drivers, office and workshop staff.

“There has been a coach company in Pembroke Dock for the last 130 years,” he said. We felt it was important that we carried on that tradition. We are having more and more people from Pembrokeshire going on our holidays and we wanted to establish a base down there.”

The company (ies) taking over the education runs will be announced after the call-in period expires on Friday. A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said that there will be no disruption to pupils and students, as the routes will remain the same.