Bus and coach operator collapses in wake of pandemic

Travel de Courcey pioneered the introduction of a new generation of electric buses in 2012

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another high profile transport operator with the news that Coventry-based bus and coach operator Travel de Courcey has gone into administration.

It follows the high-profile collapse of coach operator Shearings earlier this year.

Travel de Courcey was one of the largest independent operators in the Midlands and had around 100 vehicles and over 180 staff. It operated a mix of local bus services, coach work and contracted operations, including a sizeable number of routes operated on behalf of National Express.

Chief executive Adrian de Courcey, son of company founder Mike, said the business had been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

“We have assessed all aspects of our business going forward and it is clear that, due to the reduction in our services and vastly reduced passenger numbers, we have had no alternative but enter into the administration process,” he said.

“This move is very much a last resort brought on by global circumstances beyond our control. “We saw a huge and sudden collapse of business at the start of the lockdown and it has not improved sufficiently for us to be a going concern.”

“For example, we operate a service from Coventry to Leicester and on many days, it has run without any passengers at all.

“It is perfectly understandable that people have been very cautious about public transport and many of those who have returned to work have taken alternative forms of transport.”

He added Travel de Courcey was a family-owned and run company which had always valued the dedication and loyalty of its staff.

De Courcey continued: “The company has been a huge part of my own family’s life and we are immensely proud of the contributions and achievements of all our employees over many years.

“Our thoughts are with all our colleagues, customers, suppliers and the local communities we serve. It is a deeply sad day.”

Matt Hardy of insolvency practitioners Poppleton & Appleby has been appointed as joint administrator.

Meanwhile, both Arriva Midlands and National Express Coventry have announced they will step in to take on operation of two commercially-operated Travel de Courcey routes with immediate effect.

Stagecoach has also picked up the operation of two routes part-funded by Transport for West Midlands on an emergency tender basis.

TfWM added it was in contact with neighbouring authorities with regards to two other services provided by the operator and “we will provide further information in due course”.

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