Lucketts travel firm based in Fareham bought by National Express

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A TRAVEL firm has been bought out by one of the UK’s biggest coach operators.

Fareham-based Lucketts Travel Group has been purchased by National Express.

As well as operating scheduled services on behalf of National Express, the family-run

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business provides private hire, chartered holiday and day trip services to tens of thousands of customers every year.

The group, which also operates Coliseum Coaches, Mortons Travel, Solent Coaches and Worthing Coaches, is the largest coach operator on the South Coast, employing 350 people and operating a fleet of 160 coaches and buses.

All of the group’s brands will continue to trade under the same names.

Lucketts’ director, Ian Luckett said: ‘We are delighted that Lucketts Group is joining National Express with whom we have had a strong relationship for many years.

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‘We know we can trust them to look after what our family has built up and we are confident that they will be able to take the business to the next level.’

The change comes as chairman of the firm, David Luckett, is retiring.

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He said: ‘For me it’s a sad and emotional day, I’ve been here for 54 years and I will miss it dreadfully because it has been my life. But, at the end of the day, things move on and National Express will be a good company to take forwards.

‘I would like to assure people that it is trading as normal, the only thing that has changed is the share holding.’

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David said that anyone with existing bookings with any of Lucketts brands should not worry and that their bookings will not change.

His two sons, Ian and Steve, will remain in the company as consultants.

Lucketts’ current management team, which is led by managing director Tony Lawman, will remain, with staff reporting to National Express’ managing director for the UK and Germany, Tom Stables.

Tom Stables said: ‘We already have a strong relationship with Lucketts so know it is a fantastic company with an excellent record of delivering high quality services.

‘The acquisition enables us to expand further into the private hire and tours market and we look forward to welcoming all our new colleagues to National Express.’

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