December 2020 News Letter
As we approach Christmas, we’re still unable to start the day trips and holidays. Having been placed in tier 3 since 2nd December, this has stopped us from continuing with our trips until the New Year.
Having to cancel all ofthe day trips on the run up to Christmas (our busiest time) has been frustrating to say the least and we are now looking at 2021 with high hopes of seeing you all again.
With all the coaches laid up and drivers on furlough for most of 2020 I am optimistic that next year will be a better year for all of us and with the vaccine programme being implemented we can start going out and enjoying ourselves and meeting friends again.
All the drivers are eager to get out and about including myself and I miss being in the shop talking to you all, organising trips and holidays (trust me I’m fed up of decorating!!!!) and can’t wait to get back to work.
When we’re certain that we can commence our day trip programme and holidays, we will publish a new day trip list and send them out to you via email, so keep a look out for it. If you’re reading this News Letter from our web site, email us at email@example.com and we’ll add you to our mailing list.
Don’t forget, we are still taking bookings for 2021 holidays and always happy to answer any queries that you have. We’re all going to need a good holiday after this year,so in addition to our 2021 holiday brochure, I’m hoping to arrange some short breaks so there will be plenty of choice.
Thank you for your continued support over this year, hearing from you has really made a difference.
Please stay safe over the Christmas and New Year period as we need to see you all again next year.
From all of us at Chauffeurhire Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year
This year is flying by and we are nearly at the end of this month and apologies that I didn’t get a newsletter out in September. A lot has been happening over the last few weeks, day trips have been operating and everybody travelling with us has enjoyed themselves with lots of lovely comments being received into the office.
With December fast approaching we have lots of shopping day trips organised on the lead up to Christmas. Unfortunately, many of the Christmas markets have been cancelled this year, which is a shame, but the shops are open and there are bound to be a few Christmas stalls still about. So call the office to book in and to get your Christmas shopping whilst supporting some of the smaller retailers who have also been struggling through this very difficult time. We’re still finding visits to certain destinations difficult like the National Trust, Longleat with many of the normal places we would visit at this time of year not allowing groups. It’s frustrating from our point of view, because we are working so hard to make travel on our coaches so safe. We are working with some new venues that are accepting coaches and we really hope that as we move into 2021 things will start to return to some sort of normal.
We’ve had two holidays depart recently. The first was our Mystery holiday on the 7th September with 28 passengers, there were several last-minute hotel changes (they did not know where they were going anyway) we finally settled upon Bracknell in Berkshire. We were booked into the Coppid Beach Hotel with day trips to the Isle of Wight and Vetnor Gardens, a full day guided tour of Berkshire with a BRILLIANT Blue Badge Guide, a visit to Gilbert Whites House & Gardens and more. Our second holiday was to The Lake District on the 11th of October with 20 passengers (Lyn would have liked to have gone on this one) we had good weather and everybody enjoyed the autumn colours. There were day trips to Hatherwaite Railway and a cruise on lake Windermere before visiting Grasmere. The next day was the fabulous Levens Hall followed by the scenic Kirkstone pass and on the final day we joined the Mountain Goats for a 10 lakes tour. Two mountain goats (minibuses) collected everyone from the hotel and gave a full day guided tour of the lakes on roads we cannot use with our coaches. Both holidays went off well and everybody enjoyed themselves, commenting on how well they’d been looked after.
The next Holiday to depart is on Monday 26th Oct and again it’s a mystery holiday. I cant tell you any more about it here, but again we’ve had to make some changes as the original hotel we’d booked notified us a few weeks ago that they would not be opening their restaurant, so no food !!!!!!.
Our 2021 Holiday Brochure is out and if you haven’t got one yet, give us a ring and we can send one out. Lyn, Glenda and myself really missed having an open evening this year and getting the opportunity to see you all, it’s always been great fun meeting everybody socially and having time to chat, but lets hope we can have the open days next year. As soon as it’s safe, we’ll be sending out invitations.
August News Letter
Here we are in August and the temperatures are souring, I hope you’re all keeping yourselves cool and staying hydrated. I am so pleased to have started our day trip programme and we are receiving fantastic feedback from the customers travelling with us. Four day trips have been completed to date, with another two due to go out on the 14th and 15th August, our spirits are high and looking forward to the future. It’s great to see the coaches back on the road and working, at the moment I have two coaches back on the road and averaging 19 passengers on each trip. We are limiting our numbers to 30 passengers on a coach which is giving every one plenty of room.
As explained previously the coaches are sanitising after each trip and with the new air purifiers fitted our coaches have to be the safest way to travel. Passengers have their temperature taken before boarding and in line with Government policy, they mush all wear a face covering, in addition to this we also require them to wear gloves (all provided in our travel packs) as this ensures no infection can be transmitted onto the coach via hand rails and arm rest etc as these cannot be cleaned after every passenger boards or disembarks the coach. Face shields are also provided for passengers not able to wear face masks and are proving very popular, a lot of passengers prefer to wear face shields rather than the masks.
Our first holiday since lockdown departs on the 7th September and we have 28 passengers booked on, I’m really pleased with the confidence our customers have in us especially as it’s a mystery holiday and they have no idea where they are going😊. Hopefully you’ve received our list of planned holidays and I’m pleased to say bookings are coming in thick and fast, especially for the early part of next year. If you don’t have the list of holidays yet, please call into the office and we can let you have the dates. The 2021 brochure, with full itinerary, is going to print in the next couple of weeks and should be available early September. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to have an open evening this year to release the brochure so we will be sending them out by post to those who aren’t able to visit the office to pick one up.
We still have several holidays operating for this year so if you’re interested, please get in touch for further details. Sadly, we heard last week that the Thursford spectacular has been cancelled this year, new dates have been booked for 2021 on the same weekends and all bookings will be moved to the new dates.
We have been in contact with Kew Gardens for dates to attend Kew Lights and we’re waiting for dates from Longleat for the Lights at Longleat. We know that some Christmas Markets have been cancelled but are waiting for confirmation of dates for those going ahead, so lots to look forward too.
Our shop is open again Mon- Fri 09.00 – 16.30, Sat 09.00 – 12.00 but we only allow two customers in at a time, so please be patient or just give the office a call.
As a business we need your continued support to survive and ask you, our customers, to help us by writing and emailing your MP’s to recognise the need of financial support for the coach industry. Coach Operators have received no financial support from the Government and are not likely to get any financial help as they have not categorised our industry as Leisure !!. If you want more information on how you can help us, please pop into the office, or call us for more information. Look out for the #Honkforhope campaign raising the issue many coach operators are finding themselves in.
Thank you for all the kind comments and support that you, our customers have shown and that’s what keeps us going (together with you paying to go on trips😊)
Looking forward to seeing you all soon
We hope you are all well and you have been enjoying one of the hottest May’s on record, shame we couldn’t go anywhere. Now that we’re into June the weather might be a bit cooler, but here at Chauffeurhire we are upbeat and looking to the future and getting back on the road.
We’re planning to get back to some sort of business on the 1st of August with our ‘April Fools Trip’. Not sure where we are going or where we can go, but we’ll find somewhere. We’re hoping that by August places and attractions will be open and accepting visitors. Our main problem at the moment is that many of the visitor attractions are closed so we can’t contact them to find out what their plans are and whether their toilets and restaurants will be open. However, we will make sure that wherever we go, their facilities will be open and available. (It’s all in the planning).
Holidays will hopefully be able to start and I just want to assure those booked to travel with us on the Isle of Man departing in August, that we are taking every precaution possible as you will see in this news letter.
Our main objective is going to be ensuring our customers feel save travelling with us and that’s what we have been working on. We’ve had many ideas on ways to protect you, like fitting Perspex screens between the seats and around the driver but coach travel, certainly for us, is a social thing and the majority of our customers travel regularly with us and meet up with friends on these trips. So with this in mind we didn’t think it right to compartmentalise our passengers and have decided to produce a travel pack for each of our clients.
These will be free to all our customers and issued and fitted prior to boarding the coach, the face protectors are returnable at the end of the day/trip as then can be cleaned, sanitised and reused, the rest is disposable but should you wish to purchase a pack you can. Included in the pack are single use hand sanitisers and wipes.
Seating is another problem with social distancing in mind. The current 2 metre rule will not work on coaches, and although there is talk that this will soon be reduced to 1 metre, we need to look into how we can maximise the seating on the coach and provide as much distance between travellers as possible. We hope that with the travel pack and the seating restriction you can see in the below diagram, we will be able to maximise distance of passengers. Seats marked with an X will be out of commission.
Passengers living in the same household will be able to sit together and the seats behind will be left empty.
All the coaches are having Air Conditioning Sanitizers fitted so the air in the coach will be purified and oxygenated reducing air born infection.
Unfortunately no sweeties on the coaches, no food or drink will be allowed unless on medical grounds, water from a sealed container can be consumed but not shared.
We’ve also purchased a fogging machine so we can disinfect the coaches every night, this fills the coach with a very fine mist (fog) of disinfectant solution which kills any viruses that may be lurking in inaccessible places that are not normally cleaned, ensuring the coaches are totally sanitised.
You can watch me demonstrate the new safety measures, just click on the link below or visit our new Covid page on our website:
A short note from Glenda
Firstly, I hope you’re all well and coping during this difficult time, and all getting ready to storm your hairdressers!! If you want a chat or any info just call, I’m here
I must say that Ian, Paul, Lyn and myself have been amazed at your messages of support, phone calls, cards etc and we thank you so much, it has made a difficult time a lot easier
Several of you have asked what’s happening re theatres etc, well as of now all theatres are shut until the end of June. Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Frogmore House are not opening this summer – Country houses and National Trust are beginning to open their gardens with limited access plus time slots but all properties remain closed as per Government lockdown, the next date we’re waiting for is July 4 when we’re hoping to be able to move forward and have some days out from August
We have been working on making coach travel safe, including all aspects of social distancing as your safety is our prime concern. As from next week there will be a video in our window showing the measures which will be put in place on all trips, and if you do think of anything else, please let us know.
So – I’ve done a new list which is on the attachment, we’re really hoping that these activities will go ahead as scheduled, but if for any reason a trip can’t go ahead, we will reschedule and your booking will be moved to the new date. I hope you are as excited as we are about getting out and doing something different (and it gives you something new to read) As you can see we also have lots of trips in the New Year so you can start planning what you want to do after Christmas !!! (who wants to be thinking about Christmas in June – we are!!!) For those who have credits, hopefully you have plenty of new or rescheduled trips to choose from.
If there is somewhere new you would like to go or a place to revisit which holds special memories for you please get in touch.
In the mean time be safe and take care.
From Ian, Lyn, Paul, Glenda and all the drivers at Chauffeurhire.