Coventry-based transport company Travel de Courcey has gone into administration – blaming its collapse on the Covid-19 crisis.
Travel de Courcey is the largest privately-owned bus and coach company in the Midlands.
It operates a network of services across the wider area including to hospitals, schools, the Ricoh Arena and the NEC.
The 48-year-old company, which employs around 180 staff, took the decision after a huge decline in passenger numbers and income.
Adrian de Courcey, CEO and son of its founder, Mike, said: “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.”
Mr de Courcey added: “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.”
Travel de Courcey had enjoyed a reputation as an innovator in the transport sector and received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2017.
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The company was also the first in the UK to operate fast-charging electric buses.
Matt Hardy of insolvency practitioners Poppleton & Appleby has been appointed as joint administrator.
He said: “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.”