‘Devastated’ – Bennett Coach Travel closes

Due to the impact of the coronavirus, Bennett Coach Travel of Newton Abbott has entered voluntary liquidation.

Director, David Bennett, said: “It was a voluntary decision. We just don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. We just don’t have enough school work to keep us going.”

David reports that all Bennett Coach Travel staff have managed to find new jobs. David said: “I’ve got a lorry licence, so I’m going lorry driving.”

His wife is to retain a special needs transport contract the company operated, while his father will retire.

David added: “It will be a complete change for us all. We started in 1997, so it’s been quite a long time.

“It’s devastating, absolutely devastating. We had a good reputation.”

“It’s devastating, absolutely devastating. We had a good reputation. At the end of the day, it is what it is. We made sure we are going out on our own terms. I think there is going to be many more like us.”

The operator’s fleet of nine coaches and one minibus are being sold by Lambert Smith Hampton.

Steve Henson of Castle Hill Insolvency was appointed Liquidator of Bennett Coach Travel.  All employees and creditors have been contacted, and the liquidator is in the process of selling the assets and establishing the quantum of creditor claims.

In addition to the above statements, the Directors issued the following statement through the liquidators: “Up until the beginning of the year, Bennett Coach Travel has always been a successful family business. When Covid-19 arrived in March 2020 this immediately impacted our ability to trade. We took advantage of the offer of a CBILS Government loan from the bank to support ongoing trading expenses. As we had no finance on any of the coaches or equipment, we believed our assets would be sufficient to cover this loan in a worst case scenario. We also believed and hoped the virus would be short lived; and we expected to be back to normal before the new academic year in September 2020.

“This unfortunately has not been the case and with the loss of our foreign student contract, (the foreign school we have worked with for many years have entered liquidation themselves), together with all the private and school work cancelling it soon became obvious school contracts alone would not carry the business forward into 2021. The directors have taken the very difficult decision to cease trading, and would like to express our thanks to our loyal customers for their support over the years.”

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