Islwyn Borough Transport
An Islwyn Borough Transport vehicle in Blackwood in July 2007
|Service area||Islwyn (1974-1996); Caerphilly (1996-2010); Cardiff|
Islwyn Borough Transport (IBT) was the provider of bus services around Blackwood and surrounding towns in the former borough of Islwyn, United Kingdom. It was formed in April 1974 when the Borough of Islwyn was created, and took over the operations of the West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board which had operated since 1926. In April 1996 control passed to Caerphilly County Borough Council. In January 2010 the business and assets were transferred to Stagecoach in South Wales. It was the smallest of the remaining municipal bus companies in recent years. Its depot and offices were in Penmaen Road, Pontllanfraith.
Islwyn Borough Transport was formed on the creation of the Borough of Islwyn in April 1974. The area had previously been part of West Monmouthshire. From 1926 it had been served by the West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board, which had been created by taking over some of the services and vehicles of three local operators. A depot in Blackwood High Street was used from 1926 to 1984, when a new depot in Pontllanfraith was opened. A second change in local government saw Islwyn become part of Caerphilly County Borough in 1996, and control of the company passed to Caerphilly County Borough Council.
In November 2009 it was announced that the borough council had agreed to sell the company to Stagecoach Group. The purchase cost was later revealed to be £2.65 million. The move attracted some criticism within the region, as no other potential buyers had been consulted: local bus operator Clayton Jones stated that he would have made a bid had the proposal been openly discussed. It was also noted that the council had lost around £15 million after the collapse of an Icelandic bank during the Late-2000s financial crisis earlier in the year. The council described claims that the two events were linked as a "wild accusation", noting that Stagecoach intended to retain all Islwyn staff members. The deal was concluded in early January 2010, with Islwyn's operations integrated with those of Stagecoach in South Wales.
Prior to its sale in 2010, Islwyn operated 18 local bus routes centred on Caerphilly and Blackwood, taking in Cardiff and Bargoed. School contracts were also operated, but no services were run on Sundays.
The company operated coaches from 1988. Independent operator Paul Diaper Tours was taken over in 1991, and the coaching division rebranded to Kingfisher Travel. The operations were sold to Diamond Holidays in 2009.
- Lidstone, John G. (February 2010). "Fleet in Focus: Islwyn Borough Transport". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (659): 62–63.
- Tiny bus company plans to sell up to national carrier WalesOnline, 5 November 2009
- Council deny accusations of secret ruling on bus firm sale WalesOnline, 17 December 2009
- Welsh-Transport-Heritage - a look back in time at the history of Islwyn Borough Transport and its predecessors
- The Welsh Heartlands Transport Festival - A website celebrating the history of Caerphilly UDC and Bedwas & Machan UDC motor bus departments which both started in the year 1917