A BUSES company covering 40 routes across Anglesey and Gwynedd is to go into liquidation, with the loss of 80 jobs.
North Wales Police confirmed they were investigating an allegation of fraud at Llanberis-based Padarn Bus Ltd.
The company, which provides bus services from Beaumaris, Caernarfon and Bangor to surrounding towns and villages, said it would end services from midnight today (Friday, May 30) due to “financial issues.”
DI Stephen Williams, at Caernarfon CID, confirmed North Wales investigating an allegation of fraud at the company.
He added: "Two local people have been arrested as part of the investigation. One, a 28 year old woman, was arrested and interviewed on May 24.
"Following questioning she was bailed to allow Police time to complete the investigation.
"The second, a 44 year old man was arrested yesterday (Thursday, May 9) and has been released on police bail pending further inquiries."
Gwynedd cllr Nigel Pickavance, who represents Marchog ward in Bangor, said the news was a "massive blow" to Padarn Bus Ltd employees, their families and to bus users.
Cllr Sion Jones, of Bethel ward, said he felt "utter sadness" about Padarn Bus Ltd's situation.
He added: "I certainly hope that a new agreement will be in place as soon as possible for transportation in Gwynedd.
"I also hope that all the jobs that have been lost, will be moved over to the new company that will be taking over. "
Cllr Jones epxressed his sympathies for staff and their families.
A spokesman for insolvency specialists Baker Tilly, who are assisting Padarn Bus Ltd, said: “As a result of financial issues, the directors of Padarn Bus have instructed insolvency specialists from Baker Tilly to assist them with a view to placing the company into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.
The spokesman said a creditors’ meeting was due to take place in the next 21 days, at which point liquidators are expected to be appointed.
He added: “The directors explored all other possible options including the sale of the business before taking the decision to place the company into liquidation.
“Throughout the past month the directors together with their advisers have been working closely with all stakeholders including the councils, Finance Wales and the Welsh Government to try and find a way to preserve the business, but despite their best efforts this was, ultimately, not possible.
A Gwynedd Council spokesman said the authority and the Welsh Government had been aware Padarn Bus Ltd faced difficulties “for some weeks.”
The spokesman added that Gwynedd Council’s first priority would be ensuring school transport would be provided from Monday, and other public services “as soon as possible.”
He added: “We have been working together in an attempt to address the serious problems that could occur for passengers should the company bring their service to an end at short-notice.
“As a result of the company's announcement, we will be implementing the plans that we and other service providers have been putting in place to ensure some alternative services.
“We are currently working to put in place new contracts to replace those services that have until now been provided by the Padarn Bus company on behalf of the council.
“The council emphasises that we are making every effort to do all that we can to minimise the inconvenience to public transport passengers in the Arfon area and we will be announcing further information regarding alternative services as soon as possible.”
Timetables will be updated at www.gwynedd.gov.uk/bwsgwynedd when new contracts are confirmed.
The spokesman added: “We will also be updating information in the bus stops as arrangements are confirmed.”
For more information, visit the Gwynedd Council website of telephone the council on 01766 771 000.