Covid spells end of Isle of Wight coach firm after more than 30 years

A LONG standing Isle of Wight coach company yesterday (Wednesday) announced it will cease trading with immediate effect.

Isle of Wight Tours has been established for more than 30 years, taking people from the Island to areas of the UK such as Jersey and the Channel Islands, and further afield to Ireland and Europe.

Managing director, Shirley Winn, had earlier engaged in Zoom meetings with Cabinet politicians in a bid to gain assistance for the UK coach industry and keep companies such as hers afloat.

Along with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) she held meetings with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps.

Isle of Wight County Press: IOW Tours has provided trips across the UK, Ireland and Europe over more than three decadesIOW Tours has provided trips across the UK, Ireland and Europe over more than three decades

A statement from Isle of Wight Tours said: “We are sorry to announce that IOW Tours Ltd (has) ceased trading.

“We have tried so hard for you, our more than loyal customers, to keep our heads above water.

Read more: Isle of Wight coach tour expert talks to Rishi Sunak and Dominic Raab

“We have worked hard to cancel/postpone/refund what is now nearly 30,000 customers, but with over 90% of our trade for the year wiped out by Covid-19 and with cancellations now coming in for 2021, we are unable to continue.

“Please rest assured we have financially protected our customers’ money.

“If you have booked a holiday by coach, or an ‘event style’ break including overnight accommodation, you are entitled to a full refund of the monies paid for the holiday.

Isle of Wight County Press: The May 22 edition of the County Press looked at the challenges the coach industry faced in light of CovidThe May 22 edition of the County Press looked at the challenges the coach industry faced in light of Covid

“We want to thank you for allowing us to have looked after you, some of our customers have been loyal for all 31 years we have been trading.

“We have laughed together, cried together and enjoyed each other’s company over the years, and we are really going to miss each and every one of you.”

As recently as last month, Isle of Wight Tours was named Best Group Tour Operator for the second consecutive year at the 24th annual Group Travel Awards.

How to claim money back

Details of the claim process will be published on the Bonded Coach Holidays website from Tuesday October 13.

If you do not have access to the internet, a copy of the claim form can be posted to you to complete and return by writing to: Protect Claims PO Box 6430, Basildon, SS14 0QT.

Isle of Wight County Press | News