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Family-run coach company near Grantham resume services after government U-turn

A family-run coach company was forced to cancel day excursions earlier this week before a government U-turn allowed services to resume.

On Tuesday, A&P Travel, based in Osbournby High Street, was facing another four weeks with no business after the Cabinet Office advised that private hire coach trips in England were only permitted for a single household or bubble, with trips for people from different households not allowed until May 17.

However, following a U-turn from the Government on Wednesday morning, A&P Travel received official confirmation from the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) that the company’s programme of day excursions could resume with immediate effect.

A&P Travel. (45881695)
A&P Travel. (45881695)

Paul Cartwright set up A&P Travel with his dad Alan in 2006. He said: “For months, the Government had put this guidance out and we’d geared up for reopening on April 12, which we did. We did five excursions last week. All with minimal numbers but we’ve got to rebuild confidence.

“We started again this week. There was a meeting last week and then this bombshell was dropped that they didn’t think coaches should be allowed out on the road and yet service coaches could. It was a ludicrous scenario.”

A company Facebook post also thanked the operations team at the CPT for their “continued, determined efforts in resolving this ludicrous situation”.

Paul continued: “Now, we’re having to double check that customers know we are still going. It’s just a mess, but we’ll get there.

“It’s been an unbelievable year, and just as you think you’re getting back to it and everything is going according to plan, then this popped up.”

As a result of the uncertainty, an excursion to Louth, booked for Wednesday, had to be rescheduled until May 19.

Paul added: “We cancelled it then, in the end, there was no legitimate reason for us cancelling it. It could have gone ahead.”

However, Paul was able to take a small group on an excursion today (Thursday) to Cromer and Sheringham in Norfolk, where they enjoyed blue skies as well as fish and chips.

The company’s next trip is to Whitby on Sunday, with plenty more excursions planned.

Paul continued: “It looks as though we’ve got a fairly busy year, because I think there’s this pent up demand to get out and live your life again.”

To find out more, visit: www.aandptravel.co.uk

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