Published: 08:36, 27 August 2020
A coach company forced to park up its fleet for three months during the lockdown says the green shoots of recovery are finally emerging as customers start to return.
But it admits its main challenge is persuading day-trippers and holiday-makers that its services are safe to travel on amid on-going concerns about Covid 19.
Folkestone -based Crosskeys had been operating for 46 years and had been hoping 2020 was going to be a record-breaking year.
Managing director Alan Johnson, whose parents created the company, said: "The coach industry as a whole has felt a massive pinch and in moving forward it has damaged a lot of people . There's been no grants available to the coach industry either.
"Luckily we've been around 46 years and we're here to stay and see it through.
"But I've never seen anything like this. To come into the yard while we were shut and see all the vehicles parked there is unprecedented."
Now, with social distancing on all coaches - slashing numbers in half - and deep cleans after every trip, hopes are being pinned on a bounce back in 2021 with many concerts and events shifted forward, while it is hoped travel restrictions will also be eased.
"All we can do is reduce the risks as much as we can to make people feel safe.
"We temperature check everyone before they board the coach, hand sanitise, passengers are socially distanced, we load from the back and unload from the front so it's as safe and secure as it can be.
"We want to raise awareness it is safe to travel and when they go on the trip they have a great time."