A GLEN INNES coach company has declared it is ready and willing to fill the void left by Greyhound Australia’s decision to put the brakes on its inland New South Wales service.
Greyhound Australia announced it would no longer run buses on its New England Highway route signalling the end of coach services through towns like Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Guyra, Armidale, Uralla, Tamworth and down through the Hunter.
Greyhound Australia said the inland route was financially unviable.
Glen Innes couple Daniel Arandale and Karen McAllister, who run New England Coaches, said they have been swamped with inquiries about its bus services from Tamworth through to Brisbane since mid October.
“The Greyhound Australia decision was made a couple of weeks ago and since then we have been inundated with inquiries about our service,” Ms McAllister,” said.
Mr Arandale said there has been a tangible increase in bookings since the Greyhound announcement.
“We have had a 40 per cent increase in bookings and we are more than able to handle the increased passenger numbers,” he said.
“Our Brisbane to Tamworth service was very marginal before and now we are looking at that service being profitable.
“We class ourselves as a regional operator so we want to focus our service on the New England region.”
Mr Arandale said whilst routes had to be sustainable he still looked at the inland routes as a service for country people.
“We run our Brisbane to Tamworth route three days a week and that is sustainable from a financial point of view,” he said.
“The feedback from our customers is that three days a week is enough, it does not need to be a daily service.”
Local MP Adam Marshall said he was happy to see a Glen Innes company surging forward.
“This could be just the ticket for our transport needs and retaining local ownership and business interests with a bigger market share is an extra bonus,” Mr Marshall said.
“So if Greyhound Australia doesn’t want us, then we don’t want them. Our region has a local company, employing local people that provides a wonderful service.”