East Anglia: Crusader Holidays saved from administration by Motts Leisure

ESSEX-based coach tours business Crusader Holidays has been rescued from administration, it was revealed today.

The Clacton-on-Sea company, which offered pick-up points for travellers across East Anglia and the South East, called in administrators from accountancy group Ernst & Young on December 1, putting hundreds of Christmas breaks at risk.

Crusader has now been acquired by Motts Leisure, the holidays arm of Motts Coaches based at Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, which has had a close association with the Essex company for many years.

Motts plans to continue operating the Crusader brand and is working to ensure as many holidays as possible can go head.

Crusaders customers who suffer cancellation will get their money back under a coach industry bond scheme.

Roger Mott, managing director of Motts Coaches, said: “Motts have had a unique association with Crusader that goes back to 1998 a time when Roger Staines, the founder of the company, was still actively involved.

“Following the untimely passing of Roger the company passed to his son Antony, and then through two successive management buyouts to the difficulties it found itself in at the end of November.”

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Motts, which has operated tours and holidays since the 1970s, had an innovative arrangement with Crusader in that its continental tour programme was almost entirely a Crusader product, sold as an agent within its own brochure and served by a feeder network to either South Mimms or Thurrock services.

Mr Mott added: “Crusader Holidays is a quality tour operator who we have been proud to have been associated for the past 13 years. It is our intention to continue operating the Crusader brand of quality coach holidays within the UK and on the Continent for many years to come.”

Motts says it will take over the booking office in Clacton with “many” of the current staff, although it gave no detail on numbers.

Roy Finch, a senior director with Crusader from the time of Roger Staines and a close friend of Roger Mott, has been appointed as chief executive of the new Crusader operation which is open for business immediately.