Bosses bring fresh hope over deal to save bus company Velvet

Velvet went into administration earlier this month.

Velvet went into administration earlier this month.

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A TROUBLED bus company could be permanently back on the road within days, its bosses claim.

Velvet – which traded as Black Velvet Travel – was saved from the brink of closure 36 hours after going into administration earlier this month.

The firm temporarily secured its services and 25 jobs were saved when another transport company forged an 11th hour deal to prevent it from collapsing.

Now company bosses are confident that talks to finalise a deal saving the company are imminent.

But it comes with furious employees plotting a revolt after being left empty-handed on payday and fearing that the deal might not go through.

As previously reported the former interim deal sparked a fresh bus war as rival company Bluestar – which had temporarily stepped in to cover some of Velvet’s services – continued to run buses on the same routes.

A number of other bus companies, including Xelabus and Wheelers, also covered some of the routes.

A statement released on behalf of the company on Friday said: “The future of Hampshire bus company Black Velvet Travel Limited could be determined in the next few days.

“Insolvency and restructuring specialists from accountancy firm Chantrey Vellacott hope a deal to secure the long-term future of bus services across the community could be completed in a matter of days.”

Matthew Fox, a partner at Chantrey Vellacott, said: “Talks have been taking place over the last week with a view to a well-established company resurrecting Black Velvet Travel and Velvet buses returning to the road on a long-term basis.

“Those talks are at a vital stage and, while nothing is certain, I would hope they would be concluded positively in a matter of days.

“If agreement is reached and the deal goes through, staff will of course be paid for the hours they are working.”

But one former employee, who is still owed five weeks’ wages from the company, said that colleagues are angry at being kept waiting for money, while overtime is also being slashed.

Many of those out of pocket are employees who initially cancelled job offers elsewhere when hearing that the company was up and running again.

The worker, who refused to give his name, said: “We are desperate to get our money.

“We’ve all got families to feed and mortgages to pay. We are being treated like cattle and morale is really low.

“They’ve given us false hope by getting us to come back to get the business up and running again but we are getting no pay.

“They’ve stitched us up.”

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:26am Tue 29 Jul 14

Quentin Heslop says...

Ah, the old bus war shenanigans that never were.
Ah, the old bus war shenanigans that never were. Quentin Heslop
  • Score: 11

1:35pm Tue 29 Jul 14

waggers5 says...

This article is incorrect from the outset. Velvet never went into administration, they just ceased trading for a day. Not the same thing at all. And as another commenter pointed out, there were no bus wars. The city council asked Solent Blue Line to run buses on the same route as velvet for one day to make sure the service was covered, as an insurance measure. As soon as it was clear Velvet was operational, the council asked BlueStar to stand down and they did.

The only confusion seems to be on the part of Echo staff, but that's nothing new.
This article is incorrect from the outset. Velvet never went into administration, they just ceased trading for a day. Not the same thing at all. And as another commenter pointed out, there were no bus wars. The city council asked Solent Blue Line to run buses on the same route as velvet for one day to make sure the service was covered, as an insurance measure. As soon as it was clear Velvet was operational, the council asked BlueStar to stand down and they did. The only confusion seems to be on the part of Echo staff, but that's nothing new. waggers5
  • Score: 12

1:59pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Outside of the Box says...

TUPE rules come in play even in the short term, the drivers owed money can claim from the company who stepped in and who talking over saving the Velvet
TUPE rules come in play even in the short term, the drivers owed money can claim from the company who stepped in and who talking over saving the Velvet Outside of the Box
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree