Under-fire Chambers Coaches boss apologises to disgruntled customers in Stevenage and beyond

The new owners of Chambers Coaches have come under fire after Stevenage pupils were left stranded an

The new owners of Chambers Coaches have come under fire after Stevenage pupils were left stranded and families out of pocket. - Credit: Archant

The owner of troubled firm Chambers Coaches has apologised to customers – including students from a number of Stevenage schools – affected by a series of recent cancellations.

Robert Kreuger, who bought the 51-year-old Graveley-based family firm earlier this year from Debra Tidey and Martin Chambers, said he wanted to “apologise profusely” to people who have been left waiting for coaches that have not arrived or who have had services cancelled for summer outings.

It follows a catalogue of cancellations for customers including Stevenage pupils from John Henry Newman and Woolenwick schools, as well as groups of stroke survivors and people with special educational needs waiting to go on summer outings.

In some cases customers were not told in advance and coaches simply failed to arrive.

Speaking to the Comet today, Mr Kreuger – who is from Melbourn in South Cambs – said he thinks that given time the company can resolve the problems.

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He said the difficulties were caused largely by coaches needing repair and maintenance, and that the firm had tried its best to hire alternative coach providers to cover services when its own coaches were not available.

But he said as it approached the peak time of year for summer trips, alternative providers were no longer available.

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Mr Kreuger said he was forced to cancel the John Henry Newman School service because it was making a loss for the company.

He pledged that from now on all clients will be given 24 hours’ notice if services have to be cancelled.

Mr Kreuger also owns Eclipse Coaches of Cambridge and sister company Eclipse Tours, Holidays & Excursions.

In March this year he created a new parent company, Varsity Transport Holdings, which bought Chambers Coaches Limited for an undisclosed sum – following the decision by directors Martin Chambers and Debra Tidey – son and daughter of the company’s founder, Cyril Chambers to retire.

Chambers had celebrated its golden jubilee in 2016.

At the end of the 2016 financial year, accounts lodged with Companies House show Chambers owed creditors £341,780 to be paid within one year.

Eclipse Coaches Limited owed £133,641 also to be paid within one year.

More information about the takeover process cannot be printed at present for legal reasons.

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