Classic Bus North West cease service
On 18 December, following consultation with the finance company that underwrites its VOSA financial standing and invoice discounting facilities, a decision was made for Classic Bus North West Ltd (CBNW Ltd) to suspend trading. The routes being operated on the CBNW Ltd licence were therefore suspended, affecting services 80 (Blackpool-Poulton-Preston) and the Red Rocket Express (Manchester-Blackpool), although this service’s operation was going to be suspended after Christmas until Easter.
A statement on the CBNW blog said, ‘The decision was taken against a background of increasing amounts owed to the business and losses on the bus refurbishment side of the business, affecting cash flow and our ability to keep pace with payroll obligations. Some staff have been laid off and it is likely that there will be redundancies. The decision does not affect service 22, which operates on the Oakwood Travel licence, and we are now working closely with our principal stakeholders to develop a fresh and sustainable operation through Oakwood Travel Services Ltd.’
The operator has terminated the 80 service without the required 56 days notice to the Traffic Commissioner. It has also broken its contract with the Council to provide an evening and Sunday service, which would require 12 week’s notice. The service was scheduled to run seven days a week, with the county council subsidising evening and Sunday services between Poulton and Preston. Lancashire County Council announced its intention to inform the Traffic Commissioner of Classic Bus North West’s actions.