scheme, not because its operation is not up
to standard, but because they question the
benefits of it.
Lawrence says: “It works out to be quite
costly. You need to have the systems, which
requires investment, and then you have the
fees, including possible auditing fees once
your application has been reviewed and
then every two years after you’ve joined the
Although it has not joined ER, the firm is
CoachMarque accredited, which is proudly
displayed on the fleet.
CoachMarque is described as “the quality
standard of the UK coach industry.” Operators
need to meet “a strict set of criteria and are
regularly assessed by an independent auditor
to ensure compliance with the highest
standards in safety, customer service and
operational excellence,” it says.
Clean air zones
Due to where it is based, Hailstone Travel
will be affected by the London Ultra Low
Emission Zone (ULEZ), set to come into effect
on 8 April 2019.
Both Tina and Lawrence had opinions on
the new zone, which will see operators who
don’t comply with the standard charged.
While both felt something needed to be
done to tackle air quality, a ULEZ, Lawrence
felt, was not the answer.
“The biggest change we’ve seen to
tackle the issue of air quality was with the
removing of lead from petrol,” he says.
“But with the ULEZ, you’re just moving one
problem to another area; some operators
will either stop going into London – which if
enough operators followed suit, would give
another area poor air quality – and others
will just pay the charge by adding it to the
Hailstone Travel’s yard is currently rented,
which Tina says is restricting the growth of
the company. Looking to the future, she says
she would like for her and Lawrence to buy
their own land so they can have the yard
| January 2019 | @miniplusmag | @miniplusteam 26 | miniplus magazine
with the addition of an MoT station and the
ability to hire a mechanic.
Lawrence says he’s not looking at investing
in a full-size coach due to other local
operators running them.
“The main reason for not getting a bigger
vehicle is that we work with other local
operators to share the work for different
sizes,” he says.
“We did consider a 41-seater as that’s
not too conflicting, but with bigger vehicles
comes a bigger bill – and we understand the
smaller sizes of vehicles.”
While they have yet to decide how to
celebrate the firm’s anniversary, the duo –
who have been married for 40 years – are
very happy with they have built up from
scratch over the last 30 years together.
1. The fleet ranges from
16-seaters up to 34-seaters
2. CCTV is installed both
inside and outside
The rule is to not
spread yourself too
thin... that’s when
things start to go