Crosville in


Whilst the Crosville operations in Wales and the North West ended in 1990s there was a resurrection of bus and coach operations under the Crosville banner for a period of some 7 years in the area of Weston-super-Mare. This page briefly describes the story.

Following the demise of Crosville a number of vehicles that had once been part of the fleet were preserved by various enthusiasts. Some of these were simply kept for showing at various rallies and road runs but some were actually used in operational work such as weddings, private hire, T.V. and film shoots and also as Passenger Service Vehicles on commercial heritage routes.

A businessman from the Weston-Super-Mare area of the South West of England named Jonathan Pratt, who later changed his name to Jonathan Jones-Pratt not only used former Crosville vehicles in such ways but ran them under the ‘Crosville’ name.

His first former Crosville vehicle so used was KG118 (KFM767) a Bristol L5G / ECW (B35R) which had been new in March 1950.

KG118 (KFM767) at Kingsbridge in September 2012 Photo courtesy Tony Moyes

Jonathan Pratt obtained an Operating Licence for one vehicle in 2011 although later that year the licence was increased to 5 vehicles. A number of other preserved vehicles were added to the fleet that had been part of such companies as Southern Vectis, Bristol Omnibus Company, Hants and Dorset and London Transport.

LEU263P is a Bristol VR and was 8622 in the Bristol Omnibus Fleet. It was new in July 1976 and was converted to open top in 1986. After a period in the Channel Islands it came to Crosville at Weston-super-Mare in February 2011. Photo courtesy Carl Berry

Former Southern Vectis 573 ((YDL318) a Bristol FS6G / ECW (H33/27RD) came to Weston in July 2011 and is still in the town with Crosville Vintage. (Photo courtesy Keith Newton)

Former Hants and Dorset 1523 (DEL893C) is a Bristol FLF6B / ECW (H38/22F) and it joined the 'Crosville' fleet in Weston in 2011 - it is seen in Burnham-on-Sea in 2012 (Photo courtesy Keith Newton)

The expansion of the business was rapid and in January 2012 a company was formed using the former name of the original company – Crosville Motor Services Limited. The Operators Licence for this company was initially 20 vehicles but this increased later.

In April 2012 the new Crosville company registered a number of commercial bus routes including Weston-super-Mare to Sand Bay, West Wick and Burnham-on-Sea and a sea front service from the Grand Pier to Uphill. In the following year of 2014 further services were added.

To undertake the new services a fleet of second hand buses and coaches were acquired. Initially a number of these were given the cherished registered numbers including 'CMS' e.g. Y23CMS, F17CMS. However this practice did not last long

Y22CMS was a MAN / Noge coach originally YN05BXK and was with the company between 2011 and 2013 Photo courtesy Carl Berry

Crosville's 320 (MX07BAV) an Enterprise Plasma passes 327 (CN07FTC) a VDL SB200 / Plaxton Centro in Weston-super-Mare Photo courtesy Carl Berry

The Crosville depot in Weston-super-Mare with some of the fleet - Photo courtesy Carl Berry

Optare Solo CKZ9869 was originally S105LBL and carried the fleet number 300 in the Weston-super-Mare Fleet. It later worked in North Wales for Express Motors.

Photo Courtesy Carl Berry

V125LGC was number 400 in the Weston-super-Mare fleet. It came in October 2013 having been new to London Central in January 2000. It spent some time with First in Scotland. Photo Courtesy Carl Berry

By June 2015 the fleet had increased to 40 vehicles on the licence. Further services were undertaken when the company began operating contracted service for North Somerset which took the buses of the company to Bristol and part of South Gloucestershire.

In addition to the buses operated the company also had other types of interesting vehicles. A Sentinel Steam bus, GT 2827, was acquired in 2015. It was new in 1931 as a dropside lorry and later a tar sprayer. It was rescued for preservation and converted to a passenger carrying vehicle and for a number of years saw use in Whitby, North Yorkshire before arriving in Weston-super-Mare. It remains in the area with Crosville Vintage.

Photo courtesy Keith Newton

Crosville also operated two Land-trains (W675/6 PHW) which operated from 2014 along the promenade in Weston-super-Mare from Knightstone Island to the Tropicana.

Landtrain W675PHW being operated by Crosville - Photo Courtesy Carl Berry

In addition to the large fleet of more modern vehicles the heritage fleet was expanded and in addition to the number of former Crosville vehicles there were many others from a number of operators of great interest to enthusiasts.

DFG81 (891VFM) joined the Weston-super-Mare fleet in December 2011. The Bristol FSF6G was new to Crosville in June 1962 and was converted to open top in 1977. It is still remains in Weston as part of the Crosville Vintage fleet.

(Photo courtesy Keith Newton)

KW175 (LFM756) is a Bristol LL6B / ECW (B39R) and is seen here at the Weston-super-Mare railway station. It is still remains in Weston as part of the Crosville Vintage fleet.

(Photo courtesy Keith Newton)

In 2017 the size of the fleet was reduced due to the Traffic Commissioner reducing the Operating Licence to 29 vehicles (a reduction of a third). This followed a Public Enquiry where concerns had been raised relating to unsafe vehicles.

Not long afterwards in February 2018 the company announced that they were giving notice that in April they would be ending their local bus and school transport services on Saturday, April 21. They also indicated that their last day of working would be by heritage vehicles and the proceeds for the day would be donated to charities.

However in March 2018 a further Public Enquiry was held by the Traffic Commissioner who revoked the licence from the date the company and indicated it was ceasing operations.

Most of the fleet was dispersed but the large number of vehicles from the heritage fleet stayed in Weston-Super-Mere and are now in the possession of a company who trades under the name of Crosville Vintage. This company has changed its name from Crosville Vintage Limited to Crosville Motor Services Limited recently. The link with the founder of the company is still in existence as this heritage company is part of the group of companies under the umbrella of JJP Holdings (South West) Limited of which Jonathan Jones-Pratt is Chairman.

As an aside in 2016 a new company, Somerset Passenger Solutions began operation mainly to convey the workforce to the major construction of the Hinkley Point Power station. The company is a joint venture between First Group and JJP Holdings (South West). The fleet involves some 150 vehicles. This operation continues and the contract for the provision of the services is due to continue until 2025.