Doncaster coach firm on road to success with £450k investment

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A Doncaster firm is proving it’s on the right road after investing over £450,000 in two new coaches.

Buckley Holidays, based in the village of Blaxton, is a family firm going from strength to strength during times of economic crisis and Free Press business met up with its owner Richard Buckley to discover the secret of its success.

The firm was established in 1980 by Richard’s parents, Steve and Jean. Their son joined the company in 1997 and bought the business from his father in 2001.

Originally set up as a traditional coach hire company, the business soon expanded and the company is now a specialist in holidays and tours, both within the UK and on mainland Europe.

“We’ve been doing the holidays since 1985, mainly within the UK,” Richard said. “We initially focussed on holidays within Britain – which are still very much a mainstay of our business, but also expanded onto the continent. We just kept at it and built up that side of the company as time went on.”

And expanding will be made easier when the company takes ownership of its two new Neoplan Tourliner liner coaches, which will be delivered later this month.

The firm’s new vehicles cost £239,000 each but are a vital part of keeping the company on the cutting edge.

“They should be on the road on the third week of September. It is a significant investment, but it’s the right decision,” Richard said. “They’re replacement machines, so we’re not expanding our fleet.

“But they are top-of-the-range and will add a great deal of value to the customer experience.”

The new investment has been partially made possible by the firm’s experience during the recession, which it has ridden out without feeling undue effects.

“We’ve been pretty lucky,” Richard said. “We’ve not really felt the effects of the economic downturn.

“We did have a strategy – we cast out net a little wider and looked for new opportunities. Because of that we carried on growing, despite the difficult economic tomes.

“I think being a family firm helped a lot too – everyone’s 100 per cent committed to the cause, so whatever needs to be done gets dealt with.”

Buckley’s currently runs six coaches and employs 12 people with Steve and Jean still actively involved, albeit on a part-time basis and Richard’s brother-in-law working as on of the firm’s drivers.

Also looking towards the future, this autumn sees the business undergoing a complete re-branding to give it a bright up-to-the-minute new look.

“We just want to freshen things up,” Richard said. “We’ll start with the new coaches and then do the other four.

“It’s just a matter of keeping things going forward and looking to the future.

“Our last re-brand was in 1997.

“The big coach companies like National and so on tend to re-brand every 10 years or so, and now, after 15, it just seems like the right time for us to do the same.”