Eastern ends French Voyage
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/ Eastern National has placed its loss-making French coaching business Voyage National into receivership.
National Express and two other coach companies are understood to have shown interest in buying the Lille-based firm, which was set up by the National Bus Company three years ago. According to Eastern National managing director Geoffrey Clarkson, however, no buyer could be found in time to prevent Eastern National from running Voyage National for the entire winter season — the firm's biggest loss-making period.
He says: "We made every effort to sell the company but could not find a suitable buyer in time which did not want to impose conditions upon the sale. Such conditions were rejected by Guma, Eastern National's holding company."
Clarkson estimates that if Eastern National had continued operating Voyage National out of Lille it would have cost the firm around 230,000 over the winter period.
He says: "To have continued would have meant propping up the company and that is against the policy of Guma, which believes each company must be able to hold its own. It was a unanimous decision by the Gurna board to place the firm into receivership."
Voyage National is a small coaching business based at Lille airfield. It operates three Volvo Jonckheeres and three Setra double-deckers, and employs 12 staff.