Eddie Stobart to run coaches from London to Southend Airport

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The Stobart Group has applied for an O-licence to run two coaches on a regular service between London and Southend Airport.

The company, famous for its haulage business, has owned the Essex airport since 2008 and has applied for the licence to assist passengers travelling to and from the airport in the mornings and evenings.

At present  London-Southend airport is connected to London with a direct rail link to Liverpool Street Station. However, it is the only London airport not currently served early enough in the morning for passengers to board the earliest flights, and similarly, not served by a return train to London late enough for the last passengers landing at the airport in the evening to board.

Discussions are ongoing with the rail authorities regarding the provision of these early and late trains. In anticipation that this may not be fruitful, or may take a while to push through, the company has applied for the O-licence and is looking to run its own shuttle service to and from the capital. These would also be utilised when there is a call for rail replacement services.

London-Southend Airport Interim MD Jon Horne confirmed the story to CBW, saying: “We are continually exploring options to enhance surface access connectivity with London-Southend Airport in order to provide the flexibility for getting to and from the airport that our customers expect of a modern London Airport.

“Even when these trains operate there will be occasions when engineering work on the railway necessitates the provision of a replacement coach service. Therefore obtaining an O-licence will give us the option of using our own resources to operate replacement coaches as and when required.”

Eddie Stobart already owns a Scania Irizar PB, popular for its use as team coach for Carlisle United Football Club amongst its other duties.