Coombs Travel winding down after 52 years as owner Brian Coombs announces his retirement
PUBLISHED: 18:00 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:55 12 October 2017
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A coach company which has been operating in Weston-super-Mare for 52 years is winding down after its owner decided to retire.
Coombs Travel, based in Searle Crescent, cancelled eight of its school transport contracts at short notice last week.
The company has since confirmed it will end its five remaining routes, which it operates for North Somerset Council, in October as owner Brian Coombs is retiring.
Coombs’ bosses told Somerset County Council it would no longer be operating its routes to schools in Cheddar, Blackford and Burnham last week.
Its remaining routes go to Baytree School in Weston, Churchill Academy in Churchill, Ravenswood School in Nailsea and St Bede’s Catholic College in Bristol.
North Somerset Council is arranging for new operators to take over those routes, and there should not be any disruption for students.
North Somerset’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees, who has responsibility for transport, said: “I am very sorry to lose Coombs Travel as a North Somerset Council transport provider.
“The company has been a valued asset and I wish Brian all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
Mr Coombs added: “We all have to retire sometime.”
Weston-based coach operator Bakers Dolphin has offered jobs to drivers affected by Coombs’ decision to terminate some of its temporary contracts as a result of its route changes.
Max Fletcher, managing director at Bakers Dolphin, based in Locking Road, said: “We are trying to recruit drivers and staff at the moment so we are exploring how we can help by taking people on as we hear some staff have been told not to come into work.
“We have many regular school contracts in the area and we are trying to get some clarity on what is happening at Coombs Travel so we can support anyone, both staff and customers, which have been affected.
“It is always upsetting to see a coach business hit difficulty.
“Coach travel is a very competitive and highly-regulated business that is difficult for those without the broad spectrum of income that we have to operate within.”
Coombs Travel staff can contact Derek Forbes at Bakers Dolphin on 01934 415000 for more details about the vacancies.