Thursday 7 May 2020

Another Victim of COVID-19

As we have already mentioned on here, the ongoing coronavirus crisis is having a detrimental impact on the travel and tourism industry. At this time of the year the local establishments usually begin to gear up for a busy summer season - but not this year.

I have already reported that the Specialist Leisure Group (SLG), owner of Shearings Holidays and the Bay Hotels chain, is attempting to avoid becoming the next corporate casualty of the pandemic. (Shearings Seeks Rescue Deal ~ 30th April 2020). Now another well known coach and travel company has announced they are in trouble too. So much so that the directors of David Urquhart Travel are to wind up their coach tour business in the coming months. An application has already been lodged with the Court of Session to enter into a Company Voluntary Arrangement for the business.

The company, as such, does not own any coaches but contracts operators to supply them with drivers. Craske Coaches of Catfield was one of Norfolk's small independents who was contracted by David Urquhart. Following the earlier loss of a long held school contract, the Norfolk operator downsized its fleet with its Berkhoff YN06NZV moving back to Norfolk from its Essex base. Grahame caught up with it at the Catfield premises in October 2014.

What happened to the company and the coach? Well Craske Coaches cancelled their operating licence in June 2018 and the Berkhof Axial bodied Scania K114EB4 was acquired by the PTS Group (Wrights Coaches) and is now operating as R25PTS.

As for life after coronavirus I expect there will be more casualties before the sector returns to some form of normality. Let's hope the government's gradual easing of the lockdown plan will help in some small way.


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