‘Enough is enough’ for Parkers

Newcastle-based Parkers Executive Coach Hire has ceased trading.

On what caused the closure, Director, David Wastell, said: “Basically, Covid and all the lockdowns. We last moved a coach on 27 February. When the Prime Minister announced the first lockdown, the morning after we lost 100% of our work. It was horrendous.”

“When the Prime Minister announced the first lockdown, the morning after we lost 100% of our work. It was horrendous”

David continued: “We spoke with finance companies and they were reluctant to do things. We tried and tried. The Government didn’t help when they told people not to travel.

“We got to the point where if there are any more lockdowns, then we’re finished. Talking to other operators, they are telling us there is not going to be any more work until March, April, May.”

A lack of sector-specific funding for the coach industry has contributed to the downfall of Parkers, according to David. He said: “One of the big problems is there is nothing there for coaches. Coaches have been left to one side. There is CBILS, but then banks wouldn’t give these out, they had criteria you had to meet. They were asking for forecasts for the next six months.

“We decided enough is enough; we could not sustain this. It was getting frightening; people’s houses were on the line.”

“It was getting frightening; people’s houses were on the line”

Founded in 2014, Parkers Executive Coach Hire ran four coaches on private hires and tour work. David reports nearly all of the company’s eight drivers have new jobs, but none of them are in the coach sector.

David added: “We didn’t get any school work. We tried rail replacement, but we would be asked whether we were PSVAR. It was killing us to watch these coaches come up from across the country for rail replacement work when we were just sat there right on the doorstep of the rail station in Newcastle because we weren’t PSVAR.”

The finance companies have now taken the operator’s coaches away. David reports the fleet is to be parked up in fields. David said: “I would have thought it was better to leave coaches with us. At least they know the coaches will get maintained. Now they are going to get parked in a field and rot. Unless those coaches are turned over, they will seize up.

“The Government hasn’t helped. At the end of the day, we tried our best and tried everything we could and that’s what hurts the most.”

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