Jim Stones Coaches was set up in 1968 as a small coach company.
Our first brand new coach was a 45 seater 1972 Ford Duple Viceroy.
Initially, we provided part time private hire, but soon took on sub-contract work for other companies. One such contract was for Risley Prison, transporting prisoners to and from court. Whilst Jim drove, Joan managed the accounts and paperwork along with working full time at Leigh Job Centre.
We operated one coach until Deregulation in October 1986 when we registered two routes in Leigh previously operated by Greater Manchester Transport. The fleet slowly expanded until we had ten Mercedes minibuses and five Leyland Tiger single deck buses for school services. The first two routes to Landside and Higher Fold were so popular, that on the second day of operation two bus conductors were employed in order to keep to time!
Due to the vast increase in business over the years, we have had to build larger premises to accommodate our extra buses. Now, all our buses are stored under one roof and our premises also feature a state of the art maintenance bay – see right.
Our new depot, a 15,000 sq ft building in Derby Street West, Leigh, was opened in March 2004, by our local MP Andy Burnham.
We also had the privilege of being awarded a personally signed letter recognizing our excellent service from ex-Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Today, we have a modern fleet, featuring 13 fully accessible (wheelchair access) single deck buses which ferry passengers from Leigh Bus Station to many parts of the surrounding area.
All feature a kneeling front entrance and a fold-out ramp, and most are compact enough to travel through the many estates that we serve, including Lowton on routes 588, 589 and 590.
These buses are very popular with both drivers and passengers, as they have a larger capacity than the normal minibuses.
Our number plates are another feature of our company. They are well known throughout the Leigh area, and bring a smile to many people’s faces. In 1990, we purchased our first personalised number plate “H1 JYM”, from the DVLA. They have become a talking point, and a witty way of promoting our company. Since then, we have bought many more, including “B1 BUS”, “BUS 1N”, “T1 KET”, “BUS 1S” and “BUS 1T” (which is Jim’s favourite). They are used as part of the ‘advertising’ on the buses, some of which can be seen on this site.