Velvet (bus company)

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Black Velvet 302.JPG
Founded 3 November 2007
Defunct 10 January 2015
Headquarters Eastleigh
Service area Hampshire
Service type Bus services
Chief executive Paul Jones

Black Velvet Travel Limited,[1] trading as Velvet, was an English bus company based in Eastleigh, that operated between November 2007 and January 2015.


Velvet was established on 3 November 2007 by former Go South Coast director Phil Stockley, and in January 2008 commenced running a temporary shuttle for Tesco staff.[2]

On 25 February 2008, Velvet took over the running of Red Rocket A in Eastleigh, which was given up by previous operator Solent Blue Line as part of their network restructuring.[3] Velvet gained a number of contracts to run other routes, as well as many new commercial ventures.

Since the start of 2014, Velvet had been withdrawing or reducing services following what is describes as 'a very difficult winter'. On 12 May 2014, Velvet surrendered the contract with Hampshire County Council to operate route 67 Winchester-West Meon-Petersfield, which moved on to Xelabus and Stagecoach South operation.[4] All Barton Peveril College routes were transferred to Xelabus on 22 June 2014,[5] along with the Eastleigh-Hedge End section of Velvet's A service.[6] This followed the collapse of a deal in March 2014 which would have seen Xelabus take over the company.[7]

On 16 July 2014, the company announced it had ceased trading, with other operators stepping in to cover its services.[8][9][10] However two days later operations resumed, with the company announcing on Twitter that it had new owners.[11] Founder and former managing director Phil Stockley commented that the company had not entered any formal insolvency process, and that he would no longer be involved in running Velvet.[12] After operating the service for two weeks on an interim basis, Adam Smith purchased the business.[13][14][15] Smith was convicted of possessing counterfeit money a month later, but avoided a prison sentence as jobs at Velvet depended upon him.[16] Velvet's director Michael Bishop took over Cornish independent Western Greyhound in December 2014, with Smith becoming its managing director.[17] On 10 January 2015, Velvet ceased operating, with the three remaining routes passing to Xelabus.[18][19][20]


As of July 2014, Velvet operated six routes under contract to Eastleigh Borough Council.[9][10] By November 2014 this had reduced to four.[21]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 4994705 Black Velvet Travel Limited
  2. ^ Omnibuses meets Phil Stockley Omnibuses 16 November 2009
  3. ^ February 2008 services changes Bluestar 30 January 2008
  4. ^ Bus service 67 - Frequently Asked Questions Velvet
  5. ^ Barton Peveril College buses: Upcoming changes Velvet 13 May 2014
  6. ^ Xelabus takes on Velvet routes Bus & Coach Buyer
  7. ^ Merger between Xelabus and Velvet falls through Daily Echo
  8. ^ "We regret to advise that Velvet has ceased trading as of Wednesday 16th July 2014". Velvet. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  9. ^ a b Slominski, Stephen (16 July 2014). "Velvet buses cease trading". Eastleigh News. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  10. ^ a b Kusi-Obodum, Maxwell (16 July 2014). "Velvet bus company folds leaving passengers stranded in Eastleigh and Southampton". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  11. ^ Curtis, Joe (18 July 2014). "Black Velvet Travel has resumed services just days after entering administration". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  12. ^ Stockley, Phil. "comment on "Bluestar hands M back to Velvet"". Southampton Bus Update. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Buyer found for Black Velvet Travel" Coach & Bus Week issue 1149 6 August 2014 page 8
  14. ^ Adam Smith takes on Black Velvet Bus & Coach Buyer 6 August 2014
  15. ^ "In Brief" Buses issue 715 October 2014 page 6
  16. ^ Black Velvet Travel owner Adam Smith spared jail Route One magazine
  17. ^ Troubled Western Greyhound bus firm sells rest of business Archived 22 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Cornish Guardian
  18. ^ Xelabus take over Velvet S1, S2 and B4 services Xelabus
  19. ^ Public Transport Service Changes and News Eastleigh Borough Council 9 January 2015
  20. ^ "Xelabus purchases Black Velvet assets" Coach & Bus Week issue 1172
  21. ^ Route Times Velvet

External links[edit]