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1980s and 1990s—20 years of change

After the relative stability of the years from 1919, the 1980s & 1990s were tumultuous decades for the Ruthin to Mold service, as elsewhere. There were many timetable and some operator changes. In 1978, Crosville had already renumbered the complete service as B1X. Most journeys continued to Chester. At this point, there were still seven departures from Ruthin to Mold on weekdays and now six on Saturdays, of which six went through to Chester. The service number changed again in 1985 to B7/B7X, with the B7X operating via a different route between Mold and Buckley on its way to Chester. By 1985, the B37 Mold to Maeshafn, Eryrys and Llanarmon yn Iâl had become Wednesdays only, rather than on Mold market days. From August 1986, a new company called Crosville Wales was now responsible for the bus service. Crosville Wales had inherited all Crosville Motor Services’ Welsh operations. It was still owned by the State as a nationalised industry. In August 1987, the State sold Crosville Wales to its managers who, in turn, soon sold on. After further ownership changes, in 1998, the company became Arriva but by then its involvement on the Ruthin - Mold corridor had reduced to fare-paying school bus workings over part of the route (also available to farepaying adults).    At deregulation in October 1986, the service from Ruthin to Mold was not one that Crosville Wales could operate commercially. As a consequence, Clwyd County Council sought a tender for a replacement, now renumbered back to the B8. It resulted in Ruthin immediately losing its through service to Chester but passengers could purchase through tickets and change at Mold. The contract was operated by Crosville Wales for the remainder of the 1980s and to the late 1990s, although there were brief periods when Crosville Wales operated off-peak services commercially, without council financial support. In August 1989, through services were reintroduced between Ruthin, Mold and Chester as B2, soon to be renumbered B4. Meanwhile, in April 1990, the service operated between Mold, Ruthin and Denbigh as service 52. In September 1990, the service was renumbered again, as B5, including journeys extended beyond Ruthin to Denbigh and beyond Mold once again to Chester. Less than a year later, the B5 was reserved for Ruthin - Mold journeys only, with Mold - Ruthin - Denbigh journeys once again numbered 52, with some journeys extending beyond Denbigh to Rhyl. The Rhyl extension had not proved to be popular and in October 1991 such buses extending from Mold beyond Ruthin went as far as Denbigh only. Again, the service was renumbered B5 in its entirety. The Villages between 1980 and 1999 In October 1986, as part of the deregulation tendering process, Four Girls Coaches of Pontybodkin near Mold won the contract for the B37 between Llanarmon, Graianrhyd, Eryrys, Maeshafn and Mold, initially on Wednesdays only. In December 1988, Clwyd reintroduced a Saturday return journey, operated initially by Royce Hire of Wrexham. By 1990, the B37 service had returned to Crosville Wales. From June 1992, Oare’s Coaches of Holywell took over the B37 village service to Mold, which was also extended to start at Rhydtalog and no longer served Llanarmon although, of course, the B5 continued to that village. In September 1993, the B37 passed to Pied Bull Coaches of Mold. In September 1993, Pied Bull also operated one return journey between Mold, Llanarmon and Ruthin on the B5, supplementing Crosville Wales. Two months later, they were joined by Eagles & Crawford of Mold, who operated a short-lived morning college journey direct from Ruthin to Mold for connections to NEWI Deeside College. In February 1995, services reverted to their older route of Ruthin and Llanarmon to Mold, without any extensions to or from Denbigh, still as B5. The service continued under Crosville Wales. Crosville Wales Bows Out There was a more fundamental change to the B5 Ruthin to Mold service in June 1998 when GHA Coaches of Betws Gwerfil Goch and Wrexham won the contract. Arriva, as Crosville Wales had become in 1998, continued to operate the schooldays-only journey from Graianrhyd to Mold Campus, till June 2001. GHA vehicles used on the B5 tended to be Bristol VRs for peak school times and any number of GHA single deck buses available between.  Sundays In 1999 and 2000, Sunday services returned as 14A/14C between Mold, Ruthin, Denbigh and back to Mold via Bodfari, as circular services. These were operated by M & H Coaches of Trefnant. These Sunday services operated as service 9 and were branded for one season only as CLWYDIANline. These Sunday journeys operated along the A494 only, other than a spur to Maeshafn. This was replaced on Sundays in April 2001 by the X10 from Mold to Ruthin and Denbigh, operated by First Group of Chester. Maeshafn was omitted. GHA continued to operate Mondays to Saturdays from Ruthin to Mold via Llanarmon as B5. In the autumn of 1999, Denbighshire County Council changed the B37. Wednesday and Saturday journeys continued to Mold as before but the Council added journeys to Ruthin on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Pied Bull continued to operate all such journeys.  
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February 1985 Ruthin - Mold - Chester timetable Deregulation timetable, October 1986
Sunday service X10 as operated by First Group with a bus in Linxx livery, seen at the Anchor Corner, Ruthin
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SKL 683X, a Bristol VRT/SL3 seen about to crest the Clwyd Gate on service B5, in the GHA fleet livery of its time