An ex-Coleg Llandrillo degree student has used his business acumen to start his own company: the owner/driver of a 1962, red, double decker bus, ferrying holidaymakers and locals around North Wales!
26-year-old Andrew Price from Penrhyn Bay achieved a First-class honours in his BA (Hons) Management and Business degree at Rhos-on-Sea last summer, before putting the wheels in motion on his new commercial enterprise, which is based opposite Llandudno's pier.
The seed for Andrew's new business was sowed during a family trip to London last summer. He explained more:
During the final year of my course, I was on a city break in London with my parents, when I saw an old London bus and the idea just popped into my head. My dad was near to retiring, so I thought about a joint venture: me as driver and dad as the conductor.
It took us nine months to find the right bus, which we bought in in Reading. It was in need of some renovation: the mechanics were good, but the bodywork was very poor. I then gained an operator's licence, completed all the requisite paperwork and eventually passed my PSV driving licence. I now own and drive the only Routemaster operating commercially in North Wales!
In the spring of this year, Andrew started doing weddings and corporate hire, before adding sightseeing tours from Llandudno to his portfolio. Andrew is planning to add new short trips to Rhos-on-Sea, due to demand. His website, 'Routemaster 999', reflects the serial number of bus, one of 2,500 made in the 1960s.
Reflecting on his education, Andrew said:
I did poorly in school, I only got 1 GCSE. Then I enrolled at college, where I was able to specialise in my favourite topic, business, where I excelled. I loved the course and the tutors were amazing. I have always had a passion for enterprise, and have wanted to run my own business from a very young age.
Studying for a degree at college was preferable to going to a traditional university, as I studied intensely for two days a week rather than attending lessons for the odd hour here and there. The work/education balance was critical.
The bus tour itinerary consists of starting from the Llandudno Pier entrance (Prince Edward Square), before travelling along Llandudno Promenade beyond the Little Orme, dropping down into Penrhyn Bay and Rhos-on-Sea, during which it stops off at the unmissable Chapel of Saint Trillo, one of the UK's smallest churches. On the return journey, it travels through Glanwydden and Deganwy for more spectacular views: the Snowdonia Range, Conwy Marina and Conwy Castle.
For more information on the company, go to https://www.routemaster999.com/tours
For more information on Business, Law and Retail courses, or any other courses at Coleg Llandrillo, call the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.