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November 30 2017
By Mel Holley

Mel was routeONE magazine’s Editor until autumn 2018. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Lucketts Group buys Solent
Coaches in expansion plans

Hampshire-based Lucketts Group is on the expansion trail with the purchase of Solent Coaches, as part of its long-term growth plans.

The deal, completed this morning (30 November), gives Lucketts an extra 12 coaches to add to its fleet of around 130 vehicles, along with a “strategic base” for the company on the edge of the New Forest National Park.

Says Lucketts MD Tony Lawman: “At the start of the year we announced our intention to expand geographically and Solent Coaches fits into this plan perfectly.

“Like Lucketts the company is family-owned and its offering of coach hire, days out and school travel reflects our core business.”

As part of the deal, all 19 Solent Coaches staff will be taken on by Lucketts. The plan is to grow the Ringwood-based operation.

The Solent Coaches name will be retained and all booking and contracts will carry on as normal, with the ability to call on extra coaches from Lucketts fleet.

A sister engineering company will remain in the ownership of the Skew family, which set up Solent Coaches and will continue to be responsible for the maintenance of the Ringwood-based fleet.

John Skew said: “Our coach business has given us much pleasure over the years. Now, having taken it as far as we can, we feel it’s the right time to pass it on to a company that can grow it and take it to the next level while we concentrate on our engineering business.

“We’re so pleased that Solent Coaches will be owned by another family business, which shares our visions and values for quality travel and looking after its staff.”

Lucketts employs 300 people and works with some of the biggest names in business and tourism, counting global financial institutions and government departments among its clients.

In addition to Lucketts Travel it owns two other brands – Coliseum Coaches in Southampton and Worthing Coaches – and also runs more than 100 journeys each day for National Express.

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