Crosville Motor Services Limited, Chester

Home History Specification Survivors Fleet No Chassis No Operators Contractors Organisations Mobile Homes What's New


The original Crosville Motor Company started in 1906 as a car manufacturing business.  The title came from the combination of names of Mr. George Crosland-Taylor (Founder and first Chairman) and Georges Ville, a French Car designer.
Two books written by Mr. W. J. Crosland-Taylor deal with the history of the Company from 1906 until 1953 - these are entitled "The Sowing and the Harvest" and "State Owned without Tears."  They tell in detail of the struggles and triumphs first of car manufacturing, then of the fiercely competitive bus services which started between Chester and Ellesmere Port and expanded to eventually run by the 1970’s throughout North and Mid-Wales, Cheshire and parts of Lancashire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and South Wales.

In 1929 Crosville was taken over by the railway, becoming LMS (Crosville) and in 1930 the London Midland and Scottish Railway sold 50 per cent of its holding in Crosville to the combined B.E.T. Group.  The title “Crosville Motor Services Ltd.” was used for the first time in that year.

Business boomed and expansion followed rapidly until 1930 when the Road Traffic Act eliminated a lot of the sometimes physically and financially dangerous competition.  Smaller operators in all parts of the present operating area were bought out, and express services started to London and between Merseyside and North Wales.  In 1933 came the largest acquisition - the Western Transport Company at Wrexham
Operating agreements were made with Birkenhead, Chester, Liverpool, St. Helens, Widnes, Warrington and Wallasey Corporations over carrying rights within the local authority boundaries.
In 1942 Crosville became Tilling controlled and the fleet livery, previously red (buses) and grey (coaches) was changed to the well known Tilling green and cream, and advertisements were accepted on buses for additional revenue.  Coaches were cream with black trim.  This livery policy was maintained until 1972 when the green was changed to lighter National green and white replaced cream as the second colour.  Many coaches moved into National white livery with the remainder, together with most dual purpose vehicles being half white and green.
In 1948, following the 1947 Transport Act, the British Transport Commission took over the controlling interest in the Tilling Group and thus in Crosville, and in 1963 the Transport Holding Company replaced the BTC, with basically the same aims.  In 1968 the Tilling and BET Groups were merged, having still retained their identities until after the THC had obtained a controlling interest in BET.  As from 1st January 1969 the enlarged THC became the National Bus Company, with individual operators (including Crosville) retaining their separate identities and goodwill.
In 1972 a considerable number of services operated by North Western Road Car Co. Ltd. and also several services operated by Western Welsh and South Wales Transport were transferred to Crosville.
Express Operations formed an important part of the Company's operations with the Merseyside - London, North and South Wales services operating throughout the year.  From 1 October 1973 most of the Company's express operations came under the control of National Travel (NBC) Ltd. and were operated by Crosville on behalf of National Travel.
In preparation for privatisation the Company was split into two parts - English and Welsh - during 1986.  The Welsh operations were acquired by a management buyout team in December 1987 and the English operation was purchased by ATL (Western) Ltd. In March 1988.

Mike Grant (July 2007)

New L's Operated 

bullet 49 Coaches
bullet 244 Buses
For full details click here.

Secondhand L's Operated

Fleet No Reg No In service Out Service Original Op Remarks
  LFM 728 N/A N/A Cros KG147 for preservation

Fleetnames Used

bullet Crosville

Operating Depots

bullet Aberaeron (Closed)