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Ipswich taxi company goes into administration

PUBLISHED: 09:11 20 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:11 20 October 2018

Andy Fisk and Ian Tooke are the joint managing directors at JR Executive Travel.  They are pictured here in 2015.

Andy Fisk and Ian Tooke are the joint managing directors at JR Executive Travel. They are pictured here in 2015.

A taxi, coach and mini-bus hire company in Ipswich has stopped trading, leaving a group of customers with a prior booking waiting for a minibus that never turned up.

According to The Gazette official public record, the Ipswich-based company BDO LLP was appointed as administrators on October 5 for the company JR Travel, which also went by the name JR Executive Travel.

The firm, which was based at Little Copdock House on London Rd in Ipswich, had been purchased in a management buyout for £1.8m in 2015 by Ian Tooke and Andy Fisk, with help from a £950,000 loan from the SME lender ThinCats.

At the time, the company employed around 35 taxi drivers and 17 coach drivers.

Mr Tooke is a fully qualified mechanic who previously looked after IT for JR Travel, and Mr Fisk is a former driver who worked himself up to become operations manager.

In June 2017, JR Travel pleaded guilty to two offences of employing drivers without the relevant licences at Ipswich Magistrates Court and paid a total penalty of £1,140.48. The company had failed to realise that one of its driver’s licence had expired.

An employee of JR Travel said that “it is now down to the administrators whether they will give refunds for outstanding bookings.”

Derek Davis, a Babergh district councillor for Berners Ward, explained that he had been left waiting yesterday for a minibus booked with JR Travel a fortnight ago that never turned up.

“It was very disappointing,” he said. “They should have notified us - we felt let down. “I was surprised, because JR Travel over the years has been a very reliable company, with an excellent reputation.”

The JR Travel website still has the URL, but the website pages now feature the branding of Manorside Travel.

And the former JR Travel phone number now connects to a member of staff from Manorside Travel.

However, the employee explained that JR Travel and Manorside Travel are two separate companies, and that Manorside Travel has been helping out with some of JR Travel’s previous booking. “We have been getting people from A to B for them, so they are not let down,” the company representative explained.

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