RATP Dev UK, the parent company of Epsom Coaches, will rebrand the Surrey-based operator and end its programme of holidays and day trips in June.
A statement on the Epsom Coaches’ website, headed ‘End of an Era’, said: “It is with great regret that we announce that after 97 years, Epsom Coaches will no longer be offering coaches for private hire and our famed holiday and day trip programme will also end in June 2017.
“We will continue to provide bus services for TfL and our coach contract division will continue to provide staff travel services for many local bodies and providing National Express services.”
The company will be known as Quality Line, the trading name for its London bus operations.
It will continue to operate from its Epsom base and there are plans to develop the brand and to expand the range of bus and contract services provided.
The statement said: “Epsom Coaches’ iconic livery will disappear and its services will all finish by June 25.”
Managing director Steve Whiteway, who has been with the company for 37 years, will retire at the end of June.
He said: “It is obviously sad to see the end of Epsom Coaches after so many years, but I am proud of our unrivalled record for quality and that the company continues to be in good financial health.
“However, the market for coaches has changed dramatically in the past few years and the level of investment required is very high.
“That, together with the difficulty of maintaining our high standards in today’s economic and social climate, has led to the decision, that it is better to go out on a high and ensure we record our place in history, as one of the pioneering innovators in the coach industry and a business that always applied old-fashioned courtesy with modern thinking.”
One coach driver – who has worked at Epsom Coaches for 15 years and who did not want to be named – told the local paper The Epsom Guardian the announcement was a shock and that he and his colleagues may have to find other jobs.
Whiteway told the paper that he expected only “three or four job losses”.
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