JOHN YOUNG has returned to the Mediterranean island state, casting a professional busman’s critical but sympathetic eye on how the bus service is developing with its third new operator in five years.

King Long BUS 105 climbing the Mellieha Hill with its double hairpin bends halfway up. The lower half of the town and Mellieha Bay lie behind.

When I reported on the bus services of Malta in October 2014 (Buses February 2015), Arriva had quit 10 months earlier and Malta Public Transport was temporarily in charge, operating routes directly until The Autobuses de León — a Spanish company owned by the Cosmen group, which separately has a major shareholding in National Express — took over in January 2015.

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