Coventry-based coach and bus operator Travel de Courcey has gone into administration, putting the jobs of its 180 employees at risk.
The firm was founded in 1972 and has since grown into one of the nation’s largest family-owned operations, with 130 vehicles in a fleet spread across three depots.
Its offering included local bus services to key destinations across Coventry, Warwickshire and Leicestershire through to specialist corporate transport.
CEO Adrian de Courcey explained that the impact of Covid-19 had left the company with no other option: “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.”
Matt Hardy of insolvency practitioners Poppleton & Appleby has been appointed as joint administrator. He added: “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.”
A number of the operator’s former routes have already passed to rival operators. The 60 and 703 services were funded in part by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), so were placed up for re-tender. Stagecoach secured the contract, and began operating both services from 23 August.
Meanwhile, the X6 and 585 services have passed to Arriva Midlands East and National Express Coventry respectively, with the former receiving a revised route and timetabl