Hadleigh/ Stowmarket: Beestons eyes further expansion following acquisition of John’s Tours
PUBLISHED: 18:21 06 January 2014 | UPDATED: 18:21 06 January 2014
Hadleigh-based bus and coach operator Beestons has expanded with the acquisition of John’s Tours following the retirement of its founder.
John’s Tours was launched by John Cresswell 24 years ago with one vehicle after he won a school contract and later branched out into areas including day-trips, holidays and tours.
After a total of 52 years in the bus sector − he originally trained as a driver with Mulley’s Motorways in Ixworth, near Bury St Edmunds − Mr Cresswell has now decided to call it a day.
Four John’s Tours vehicles will be added to the Beestons fleet and Mr Cresswell’s son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Ann Cresswell, are joining the Beestons workforce.
The vehicles will continue to operate under the John’s Tours brand, at least for the duration of the firm’s 2014 programme of trips, although they will now be based at Beestons’ depot, just outside Hadleigh, near Wolves Wood, rather than at their former base in Stowmarket.
One of a number of school contracts recently relinquished by John’s Tours has also been won back by Beestons following a tendering process, and Ann Cresswell will become the driver on this route. David Burrows, training and development manager at Beestons, said the two companies were a good match, with John’s Tours having focused recently on holidays and tours, while Beestons’ operations − apart from its timetabled bus services − focused on day excursions, such as shows in London.
The John’s Tours holidays programme for 2014 begins next month with an entertainment break in Eastbourne with other destinations including Northern Ireland in April, Newquay in June, Yorkshire in July, Torquay in August and the First World War Battlefields in September.
It is also running a three-day Downton Abbey-themed break in August.
Beestons currently operates a fleet of around 40 vehicles, with a split of about two-thirds buses and one-third coaches.
It operates about a dozen bus routes in Suffolk and north Essex, serving towns including Hadleigh, Sudbury, Ipswich, Colchester and Woodbridge, while coach trip destinations include major shopping centres and historic buildings as well as a wide range of West End shows in London.
Tom Munson, operations director at Beestons, said: “Further acquisitions within our operating territory are a possibility. We are looking to expand.”