Island Fortitude’s Brijan Tours suddenly closes

Island Fortitude Incorporated (IFI)-owned Brijan Tours suddenly closed on Friday (14 August).

The east Southampton-based firm, which employed 15 people, is reported to have run out of money.

It follows the resignation of sole director Gary Priest on 30 June, after he left IFI, whose HQ is in Barbados. IFI had not replaced Mr Priest and Brijan Tours’ accounts are four months overdue.

Brijan Tours was due to pass all its bus routes to rival Xelabus from 7 September, to concentrate on coaching.

Following the firm’s collapse, Xelabus immediately took over the routes (7, 8, 8B, 15, 17) to ensure continuity of service. The routes cover the Botley, Bishop’s Waltham, Hedge End and Eastleigh areas.

Hampshire County Council has yet to announce who will operate the three contracted school services (61, 607, S1).

Brijan was launched in 1990 by Hampshire coach driver Brian Botley and his wife Janet. It expanded with in-house coach tours, buying new vehicles, and local bus routes. It was hit hard by the cut in BSOG and concessionary travel reimbursement, leading to cash-flow problems, which saw it sell to IFI in May 2014.