Acklams Coaches

Acklams Coaches is a coach tour operator and bus operator based in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Acklams Coaches
ACKLAMS Beverley - Flickr - secret coach park (3).jpg
Acklams Coaches Volvo B9R Plaxton Elite outside Wembley Stadium in August 2013
Founded1952; 71 years ago (1952)
HeadquartersBeverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
England
Service area
Service typeCoach holidays, escorted tours and private hire
DirectorAlan Acklam[1]
Websiteacklamscoaches.co.uk

HistoryEdit

Acklams Coaches was initially founded by Bernard Acklam as Alpha Taxis in 1952, operating six to eight taxis around the Beverley area. The company would expand in the late 1960s to provide private hire minibus services following Bernard's son Paul joining the business.[2][3]

The company's first coach was bought in 1980. When this coach was written off in an accident in Bishop Burton in 1998, Acklams began expanding their fleet by acquiring second-hand coaches, and from 2000 onwards, began purchasing new coaches every year.[2][1] Acklams subsequently expanded into providing event transport and coach tours,[4] operating over 250 "door to door" coach holidays across the United Kingdom and Europe by 2019,[5] and would acquire the operations of Kingston upon Hull-based Jim Bell Coaches in 2016 and Driffield-based BusKing in 2019.[6]

Following a short illness, director Paul Acklam died in January 2022. The business was passed onto his son Alan Acklam.[1]

Operations and fleetEdit

Acklams Coaches predominantly offer private hire and escorted coach tours, although from 1992 to 2022, the company operated bus services on contract from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, mostly in the Beverley area as well as serving coastal East Riding communities.[7] In October 2022, however, with the exception of one service in Bridlington that will cease operation in September 2023, Acklams Coaches ceased operating contracted bus services, with the operator's routes either contracted to other operators or withdrawn entirely.[8][9][10]

Acklams Coaches operates a wide variety of coaches for a range of work, including shorter school services, sports team coaches and multi-day excursions across continental Europe. A large amount of the coaching fleet consists of Plaxton-bodied coaches on Volvo chassis, including three "interdeck" Plaxton Elite is,[11] a number of conventional Elites and a Plaxton Panorama.[12][13][14] Most Acklams coaches are painted white, however some from the 'Elite Travel' executive fleet are painted black with silver fleetnames, the name originating from the Plaxton coach.[12]

The company also operates a small fleet of new and second-hand single and double-deck buses, with buses purchased new including Alexander Dennis Enviro400s,[12] an Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMC for Bridlington bus services,[15] and an Optare Solo SR.[16]

'Brexit bus'Edit

 
The former Vote Leave 'Brexit Bus', a Neoplan Starliner seen in Acklams' Elite Travel livery in September 2020

Among Acklams' Elite Travel fleet is a Neoplan Starliner team coach, which was hired by the Vote Leave campaign in the run-up to the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.[17] Nicknamed the 'Brexit bus' during the campaign, the coach was wrapped red and featured statements attributed to former Mayor of London Boris Johnson claiming the UK would "take back control" of £350 million per week that was being sent to the European Union, proposing to invest this money into the National Health Service; the claim was ruled to be false, but an attempted private prosecution in 2019 to convict Johnson for misconduct was thrown out of court.[18]

Following the referendum campaign, Acklams Coaches hired out the Neoplan coach to a number of different customers, including environmental organisation Greenpeace, who recreated the Vote Leave branding for a campaign outside the Palace of Westminster three weeks after the referendum, Will Young's touring crew for the 2016 Glastonbury Festival, the Pakistan national cricket team and challenger bank Monese.[19][20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Ford, Gregory (14 January 2022). "Tributes paid to Acklams Coaches boss Paul Acklam after sad death". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Acklams Coaches". JustBeverley. 5 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  3. ^ Welch, Jonathan (1 October 2019). "Quality and commitment at Acklams". Coach & Bus Week. Peterborough: Emap. Retrieved 21 October 2022.(subscription required)
  4. ^ "Beverley business Acklams expands into events". HU17.net. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  5. ^ "New holiday programme launched by Acklams Coaches". The Scarborough News. 5 June 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  6. ^ "In focus". Buses. No. 777. Stamford: Key Publishing. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2022.(subscription required)
  7. ^ "Beverley firm Acklams awarded contract to provide rural services". HU17.net. 22 August 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  8. ^ Hall, Deborah (26 August 2022). "New bus service linking Withernsea and Beverley from September". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  9. ^ "Passengers angry at cuts to 'lifeline' town bus service". Driffield & Wolds Weekly. 18 October 2022. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  10. ^ @acklams (22 October 2022). "After 30 years in local service today is our last one (Bridlington service till September 2023) Thank you to everybody who has traveled with us over the years and the drivers who have turned out in all wether. Hopefully a good level of service is found for the routes. 🚌🥲🚌🥲" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 October 2022 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Plaxton Elite-i team coach: Not just for football". routeone. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  12. ^ a b c "Acklams takes Elite and Enviro". Bus & Coach Professional. 9 December 2013. Archived from the original on 23 December 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  13. ^ "Plaxton Panorama: Ticking many coaching boxes". routeone. 13 May 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  14. ^ Sharman, Richard (14 May 2019). "Panorama reigns supreme". Coach & Bus Week. Peterborough: Emap. Retrieved 21 October 2022.(subscription required)
  15. ^ "Enivro200 takes to the road as Acklams strengthens partnership with ADL and Plaxton" (Press release). Alexander Dennis. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  16. ^ Tinham, Brian (27 May 2010). "High spec Solo brings flexibility at Acklams of Beverley". Transport Engineer. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  17. ^ "Acklams supporting campaign trail with Starliner". routeone. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  18. ^ Dallinson, Paul (7 June 2019). "Bid to prosecute Boris Johnson over Brexit bus claim thrown out by court". Politico. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  19. ^ Waterson, Jim (15 June 2016). "The Vote Leave Bus With The £350 Million NHS Slogan Is Back Driving Around London". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  20. ^ Lanxon, Nate (25 September 2017). "Infamous 'Brexit Bus' Revamped to Promote Pro-Europe Startup". Bloomberg UK. Retrieved 21 October 2022.(subscription required)