Plymouth Citycoach, which is owned by Go-Ahead Group subsidiary Plymouth Citybus, has been closed down owing to the “severe financial pressure” that has been brought onto the coach industry by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, the operator suspended its programme of day trips and holidays. It subsequently cancelled all that activity until September inclusive. Bookings are being refunded by the parent operator’s staff, a process that Plymouth Citycoach says will take “some weeks.”

Six jobs will be lost because of the closure. One member of staff has taken alternative employment with Plymouth Citybus, the operator says in a statement on its website. “The closure is the result of the severe financial pressure that the entire coaching industry has come under over the last three months,” it adds.

A loss of income, combined with significant ongoing overheads such as coach maintenance and insurance and depreciation costs, and the possible effect of social distancing measures that will reduce vehicle capacities, has “eroded the viability of the business.”

Adds Plymouth Citybus Managing Director Richard Stevens: “We are devastated that we have had to make this decision. We deeply regret the loss of the jobs of our colleagues, all of whom are long-serving staff, but we were faced with no other option due to the effects of the pandemic.”

Before it closed, Plymouth Citycoach operated around 10 vehicles that were based at its parent company’s Milehouse depot in the city.