Working together to offer operators choice

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Fleet Resourcing and the Bus and Coach Centre formed an alliance this year that saw operations expand and operators benefit from a larger selection of vehicles. Richard Sharman visited the Oxford site to find out more

Cast your mind back to the very start of March 2020. Things were pretty much normal in the coach and bus industry, and although coronavirus had been on the horizon since January, nobody knew what was to come.

Before March, Walters Bus and Coach Sales had been selling coaches and buses from its Oxford site, just off the A40 and near the M40, as a division of the family’s company Walters Coaches.

William Blowfield, owner of Bus and Coach Centre explained: “Although my father John and grandfather Peter had the Walters Coaches family business, I didn’t become fully involved with it until 2014 when I was asked to help set up the office computers. I did and then never left!

“I was the Operations Manager when we started working with Mark at Fleet Resourcing. As time went on we had built up an operational fleet of 40 vehicles, plus we had all the sales stock on-site.

“It became too much to do both sides of the business, so I took the opportunity to set up the Bus and Coach Centre and leave the family business, with their full support, at the beginning of March 2020. This is my business, and I work in unison with Mark.

“This now gives me time to do the vehicle collections and viewings without having to worry about the operational side. I moved out of the main office and into a Portakabin on-site and started renting the back half of the yard, meaning that we can easily store 65 to 80 vehicles at one time.

“Walters Coaches are still able to assist me with engineering work or allowing vehicles into or out of the yard 24 hours a day, so it works really well.

“People may think we are a dealership but we are not – the vehicles are collected and stored in the condition they arrive in, then sold as seen.”

Mark Stephenson of Fleet Resourcing and William Blowfield of Bus and Coach Centre. RICHARD SHARMAN

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