Thursday, 26 December 2013

Statement re suspension of trading

On 18 December following consultation with the finance company that underwrites our VOSA financial standing and invoice discounting facilities, a decision was made for Classic Bus North West Ltd (CBNW Ltd) to suspend trading. The services being operated on the CBNW Ltd licence were therefore suspended, affecting services 80 (Blackpool - Poulton - Preston) and the Red Rocket Express (although the operation of this was going to be paused after Xmas).
The decision was taken against a background of increasing amounts owed to the business and losses on the bus refurbishment side of the business, affecting cash flow and our ability to keep pace with payroll obligations. Some staff have been laid off and it is likely that there will be redundancies. The decision DOES NOT affect service 22, which operates on the Oakwood Travel licence, and we are now working closely with our principal stakeholders to develop a fresh and sustainable operation through Oakwood Travel Services Ltd.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Red Rocket shuttles in orbit!

'Houston, we have a problem' is right up there with 'Beam me up Scotty' at the top of the spaceflight-related quotations tree. To get the negatives out of the way first, we have been experiencing some teething troubles with our Bendybuses, thought mainly to do with being more used to crawling around London's city streets and now we are expecting them, after being laid idle for a few years in store, to run the London marathon everyday (well, up and down the M61). MAL41 is the only one in service at the moment with MAL53 due back in service next week. Unfortunately, MAL49 is out of use and requires a new engine.
Anyway, the upshot of this is that other buses from the fleet have had to be drafted in to operate Red Rocket journeys. Saturday 30 November was our busiest day so far though and extra buses duplicated the 09:00 from Blackpool with even a Dennis Dart venturing to Manchester! Later in the day, Volvo B10M no.898 operated the last return journey - a bus no stranger to Manchester having started life with Stagecoach Manchester for the busy 192 Piccadilly to Hazel Grove service.
898 works the last departure of the day from Manchester at 20:00 on Sat 30 November