Gravesend based Reliance Travel is to become Redwing North Kent after Redwing Coaches of Herne Hill purchased the operation. The takeover deal sees the depot, 25 staff and 17 coaches change over to the new owners. Two new Mercedes-Benz Tourismos have been added to the Reliance fleet, replacing a pair of older vehicles. There will also be a change of identity, with Reliance vehicles re-liveried to display the Redwing North Kent brand. Reliance was owned by the Griffin family before the transaction.
Joint MD of Redwing, Paul Hockley, said he plans to expand the private hire side of the newly acquired business, saying he will make it ‘bigger and better’. He also aims to improve the operation’s commuter work. However, he recognises the latter will be challenging due to the Cycle Superhighway planned for London. The Redwing management team, which also includes Nigel Taylor, were running the Reliance business on the Griffin family’s behalf for approximately 18 months prior to the takeover. Due to this arrangement, Paul said the acquisition ‘was always going to happen’. David Hockley, Paul’s father, started Reliance in the 1970s.