A North Lanarkshire coach hire company has upgraded its fleet significantly to meet rising demand.
Bruce Coaches, based in Salsburgh, is a Scottish company that provides coaches for National Express routes from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Birmingham and London.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the firm saw the number of tourists and workers using these routes decline sharply. However, Bruce Coaches began to see customers return during the second half of 2021 as lockdown restrictions eased and people were allowed to travel again.
Since then, the business has seen a 50% increase in bookings for the next 12 months. To meet this increase in demand, Bruce Coaches has secured a seven-figure asset finance facility from Bank of Scotland, enabling the firm to purchase five new 57-seater coaches.
The new coaches have replaced five older coaches which had collectively driven six million miles over the past five years.
With the new fleet now fully operational, Bruce Coaches is operating its regular day and night routes from Scotland to England at full passenger capacity.
The firm has an annual turnover of £5m and employs 45 people. As part of its current growth plans, Bruce Coaches hopes to further renew its fleet next year with six new coaches.
John Bruce, director of Bruce Coaches, said: “As demand for our services ramps up, we needed to make sure that we had the capacity to continue to deliver a great service. Our five new coaches will enable us to do so and provide travellers with a first-class experience.
“The new Levante buses are fitted with a host of high-quality features, including leather seats and LCD screens. We wouldn’t have been able to acquire the vehicles without Bank of Scotland, who have supported us as a business for over 30 years.
“We’re confident that the business will continue to bounce back, and plan to further upgrade our fleet as we grow head into what we hope will be a strong year of growth.”
Meganne Hodgson, associate director for the North East & Scotland at Bank of Scotland, said: “Scotland’s tourism sector was severely affected by the pandemic, and transport firms like Bruce Coaches were heavily impacted throughout 2020 and 2021.
“It’s encouraging to see business begin to return to normality for the firm and we hope the new fleet of coaches will help support the continued delivery of Bruce Coaches’ fantastic service.
“With conditions steadily improving, we’ll continue to stand by Scottish firms over the coming months to help them grow and prosper this year.”
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