Fraser Eagle

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A Fraser Eagle coach.

Fraser Eagle was a group of companies based in the United Kingdom specialising in passenger transport, travel and logistics. Services included pre-planned and emergency coach and taxi services nationwide, corporate travel, event transport, incident management transport and destination management services. These services were provided mainly to the corporate sector. The company also provided coach tours and independent travel agency services to the consumer sector. The company went into administration on 10 March 2009.

History[edit]

The company started out as an Accrington-based coach company in 1919, transporting holidaymakers to the coastal resorts in England and Scotland. The company was formed by Harold Williams and Ward Knowles, and they later expanded to include tours and excursions across Europe.

The company expanded rapidly in the 1990s when it began providing coaches to the rail industry when train services were disrupted - quickly becoming the UK's leading provider of rail replacement services, a business which exploded in the wake of the disruption following the Hatfield rail crash and the long-running modernisation of the West Coast Main Line.[1]

It also managed, plans, and provides replacement coaches in non-emergency situations (railway engineering works etc.), acting as a transport broker with a database of 5,000 coach and taxi suppliers nationwide.

Among others, Fraser Eagle provide replacement transport for Virgin Trains, winning a £12m three-year contract to provide Virgin with around 100,000 taxis a year.[1]

Recently however, increased train reliability and punctuality has led to a downturn in business, as well as increased competition from National Express, First Group and Stagecoach.

Concern has been expressed from both suppliers and clients about the future commercial viability of Fraser Eagle, particularly in February 2009 when they announced 50 of their 170 staff were being laid off, the closure of Fraser Eagle Cars division and that they would be ending their sponsorship of Accrington Stanley earlier than contracted. Although claiming this was a result of the financial downturn and increased competition, it seems apparent the story runs deeper with allegations of insolvent trading for several months and many of Fraser Eagle's regular suppliers refusing to take any work on until arrears have been settled, some of which date back to Summer 2008.

These concerns were realised when the company filed for administration on 10 March 2009.[1]

Grand Central Railway[edit]

The company was a major stakeholder of the Grand Central Railway, an "open-access" railway company that has run trains from Sunderland and Hartlepool to London since December 2007.

Fraser Eagle sold Grand Central to a consortium headed by a former manager of Prism Rail, backed by a private equity firm in March 2007.[2]

Other businesses[edit]

The group also manage Fraser Eagle Worldchoice Travel Agent, and Fraser Eagle Cars. They are based in Padiham, Lancashire, employing 180 full-time staff. They also have an offices in Malta.

The company sponsored Blackburn Rovers F.C. (as well as the Blackburn Cathedral Choir), Rabat Ajax F.C., and Accrington Stanley FC, who have named their stadium Fraser Eagle Stadium.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://www.nw-enquirer.co.uk/business/profiles/profile:_kevin_dean,_fraser_eagle_200608311551.html
  2. ^ Former Prism bosses buy Grand Central in £10 million deal The Independent 14/03/07

External links[edit]