‘Sad day’ as Travel de Courcey enters administration
Travel de Courcey has been forced into administration after its business collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coventry-based operator is thought to be the largest privately-owned bus and coach company in the Midlands. Running from three depots, it has a licence for 150 vehicles. Its network served hospitals, schools, the Ricoh Arena and the NEC. The 48-year-old company, which employs around 180 staff, took the decision after a dramatic decline in passenger numbers and income.
Adrian de Courcey, CEO and son of its founder, Mike, said: “Travel de Courcey, like every company in our industry sector, has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
“We have assessed all aspects of our business going forward and it is clear that, due to the reduction in our services and vastly reduced passenger numbers, we have had no alternative but enter into the administration process.
“This move is very much a last resort brought on by global circumstances beyond our control. We saw a huge and sudden collapse of business at the start of the lockdown and it has not improved sufficiently for us to be a going concern.
“For example, we operate a service from Coventry to Leicester and on many days, it has run without any passengers at all.
“It is perfectly understandable that people have been very cautious about public transport and many of those who have returned to work have taken alternative forms of transport.
“Travel de Courcey is a family-owned and run company which has always valued the dedication and loyalty of its staff. We have been consulting with colleagues and it has been very hard for everyone.
“The company has been a huge part of my own family’s life and we are immensely proud of the contributions and achievements of all our employees over many years. Our thoughts are with all our colleagues, customers, suppliers and the local communities we serve. It is a deeply sad day.”
Travel de Courcey received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2017. The company was also the first in the UK to operate fast-charging electric buses.
Matt Hardy of insolvency practitioners Poppleton & Appleby has been appointed as joint administrator. He said: “Travel de Courcey is far from alone in this sector in suffering financial hardship and we will be working to salvage what we can from what is a very sad situation. We are expecting interest in certain strands of the company.”
- National Express Coventry has taken over the operation of the 585, 585A and 585B bus services previously provided by Travel De Courcey.
Chris Gibbens, Commercial Director at National Express Bus, said: “We are pleased to have been able to step in and run the 585, 585A and 585B services between Coventry and Rugby to serve customers who rely on these services.
“We’ve worked closely with Warwickshire County Council to mobilise these services at short notice and look forward to welcoming many new and existing customers onboard with us for great value bus travel.”
The existing 585, 585A and 585B timetables and stops will continue except for Coventry rail station which will no longer be served. National Express Coventry day tickets and travelcards are valid on all services.
National Express also stepped in last year when it took over the 580 bus service to Rugby after the previous operator was no longer able to continue.