OzBus ceases trading

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End of the road shortly after buying Harrison Holidays

OzBus, the coach tour company which offered London to Sydney overland trips, has ceased trading, despite having recently acquired Harrison Holidays.

In an open letter on the OzBus website, Director Daryl Jones explained both Oz Bus Tours Ltd and Harrisons Tours Ltd were unable to pay their debts and there were “insufficient assets to meet the costs of winding up these firms either voluntarily or compulsorily.”

All future tours are cancelled and both Harrison’s and OzBus’ offices have closed.

Kings Lynn-based Harrison Holidays was bought by Australian-owned OzBus in January this year. OzBus’ UK operations were based in Diddington, Cambridgeshire. Norwich-based insolvency specialists Parker Andrews sold the company to OzBus Tours, with creditors owed more than £200,000.

Jones told the Lynn News 18 Harrisons customers were owed about £8,000 and a further £20,000 was lost before the original firm went into administration. He added: “I am devastated by what has happened and saddened that anyone has lost money through no fault of their own.

“I have been left with nothing and am not in a position to offer anything to anyone.”

Jones partly blamed Parker Andrews who handled the administration, citing the lengthy time it took to get the company back and running again. He said the time taken to get the company and the office operating was a “disaster”.

He added: “From early November to mid-January is an extremely long time to assess the situation, review offers and make a decision.

“In my opinion, they were well aware of the position when they made the decision to operate the profitable Christmas tours and could have allowed the bidding parties the opportunity to free sell tickets for February, March and April tours in December.”

He is now proposing to develop a new series of 20 to 30 tours under the Harrisons Tours brand with everything run through UK agents.

He said: “I am going to extend an olive branch out to all Harrison’s customers and I am going to stick my neck out as far as I can to suggest a workable solution.”

OzBus Tours Ltd was owned by Jones, who is based near Brisbane. He has operated coach holidays in Australia for more than 40 years.

OzBus Tours Ltd was formed in September 2011 to purchase another failed holiday operator, Oz- Bus UK Limited, which was placed into liquidation in August 2011.