Travel Wright, Newark, is back on the road after coronavirus lockdown
A travel company that has seen business hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic is now safely on the road again, and says its customers can be confident to return.
Travel Wright, of Newark, has taken every measure it can to ensure passengers and drivers are safe when they travel on its buses and coaches.
This has included buying three disinfectant fogging machines to deep clean its vehicles for every trip.
The company, which went into lockdown in March, has been running some school services, and has now started to organise leisure excursions again.
Two day trips in Lincolnshire will run in August, and the first holiday tour will set off for Wales on September 10.
Director and tour manager David Wright said: “Some people are over the moon that holidays are running again, and some, understandably, are more apprehensive.
“But if I did not think it was safe to, I would not be doing it.”
The company, which has 12 buses and 18 coaches, has been in business for almost a century, and David said it had been able to keep going only thanks to the furlough scheme and support from Nottinghamshire County Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council.
“It has been a massive help.” he said.
“We have been going 97 years without making once person redundant, and we don’t want to start now.”
“Our customers have been very supportive too. They really want us to succeed.”
The portable fogging machines, operated remotely from outside the empty vehicle, fill it with a cloud of disinfectant within minutes. It is then left for about ten minutes before the doors and windows are opened.
The disinfectant works on all surfaces, which are completely dry in about an hour.
“The beauty of it is that the drivers can take the machines with them on holidays, and use them to clean the vehicles every night.
“It’s safer for the driver and for the passengers,” David said.
Passengers travelling on the buses and coaches will still be asked to wear face coverings, and use hand sanitisers as an extra precaution.
Numbers will also be reduced, to enable social distancing.
“On a 54-seater coach, we could have a maximum of 30 people, but I think 23 or 24 is more realistic,” David said.
“These trips are not about making money, they are about making sure customers feel safe.”
The first day trips will be on Thursday, August 27 to Skegness, and on Friday, August 28 to Stamford and the Springfields shopping outlet.
David said they had chosen to make the trips on less busy days, out of consideration for their destinations, as well as their passengers.
“It is not just about safety, it is about responsibility.” he said.
“I appreciate our customers’ apprehension, and not everyone is ready to come back yet, but it would be really nice to see them. again.
“We are testing the water with these trips and hopefully confidence will return.”