Announced on their website on Monday 1st July was the shocking news that local coach company Buzzlines Travel has gone bankrupt.
“It is with deep regret that we must inform you that Buzzlines Travel has ceased trading and is unable to fulfil its commitments whilst entering in to a formal insolvency procedure. The difficult decision to cease all trading activities has become necessary to comply fully with the responsibility by law as company directors.”
“Anyone who has booked to travel with Buzzlines Travel from 1st July 2019 will be contacted in due course by the appointed insolvency practitioner”.
Buzzlines coaches are often seen as they stop to pick up passengers from one of the many pick-up points across the district and across Kent, their travel shops are also a colourful fixture at various locations, so this news has stunned local people.
The coach depot itself is based at Lympne, just outside Hythe – situated close to the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover but also within easy reach of London. It’s ideally placed, one would think, to service the tourism industry with a year round programme of day trips, short trips and coach holidays across UK and across Europe too.
The company, established almost 30 years ago ran a modern fleet of coaches – described as superb executive coaches all with air conditioning and reclining seats which serviced the holiday and tourist industry providing UK Day Trips and Tours as well as Day Trips and Tours to European countries right up till the last day of June when the company was suddenly closed down.
The loss of this local business has sent shock-waves around the district with holiday makers fuming about losing their previously booked holidays and local people wondering how can Buzzlines go out of business when they hear that the tourist industry is doing so well! This belief is supported by research recently commissioned by VisitKent that found year on year, the county remains one of the top three destinations, including London – and that during 2017 alone almost 65 million visitors came to the county.
According to the travel company website “Buzzlines Travel Limited provides financial protection in the form of a Trust Account. This ensures that in relation to the coach package holidays described on our website or in our holiday brochure that the clients’ monies are protected by a Trust which may be called upon in the unlikely event of the Insolvency of the Company” – although this will be poor recompense for the disappointment experienced by families who have lost their booked holiday and may find it too late in the year to book again.
Meanwhile, employees which number in their dozens including drivers, sales team and administration staff are left suddenly without a job and wondering when, or if, they will be paid their full wages up to date – and they are also understandably anxious about where they will find future work.
The TravelWeekly website cites Director Lynn Woods as saying; “There are a lot of reasons for Buzzlines’ demise; the owner has invested an enormous amount of money in the last eight years to try to sustain it. But the squeeze on travel businesses has become unsustainable for many smaller operators and for all our efforts we simply can’t continue to manage rising costs, currency decline, political mischief and reduced margins.”. Financial figures revealed that the firm had lost more than £3 million for year ending March 2018.