Aberfeldy calling it a day

After 47 years of operation, management at Aberfeldy Motor Services has decided to retire.

Run by husband and wife team Lynda and John Stewart, the last service to depart will be its 30 December tour.

John told B&CB: “We have decided enough is enough. We are both getting older and the driver shortage issue is not helping.”

Another issue John mentioned is hotels, finding them difficult to work with of late. However, a message on the operator’s website on its imminent closure said: “…we have to say that some of the family run hotels we have dealt with for a number of years have been very accommodating.”

Once the doors shut on the depot for the final time, John and Lynda are looking forward to a holiday in 2023, their first in 12 years.

“I will be sad, but there is a bit of relief” – John Stewart

The company’s work is based on tours and trips, with John reporting a lack of private hire work in his area, which is about 30 miles away from the nearest city, Perth. John said: “We haven’t had schools for 11 years. Things aren’t as buoyant as they are down south. With Covid, we had quite a few cancellations. I don’t see the market going back to how it was ten years ago for another five or six years.”

Many of John’s drivers are approaching retirement and will do so once they have finished their last shift with Aberfeldy Motor Services or will move to other jobs.

The operator has been cutting down on its fleet of late and currently has two 16-plate Van Hools, which it plans to sell. John said: “They will be good vehicles for someone. The highest mileage on them is 240,000 miles.”

On how it feels to close the company after 47 years of business, John said: “I really don’t know how I will feel. I will be sad, but there is a bit of relief. When you have done so much for so long, it’s going to be totally different.”

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