It is a sad day to see Robert Risk Company Secretary, founder and driving force behind Target Travel recently have his license revoked by the Traffic Commissioner. What many of the contributors to your site may not realise is that he has been one of the most valuable Argyle supporters for countless years, supplying executive coach transport to the team, usually at a financial loss to his business and luxury coach transport to the supporters club at a slight profit. Not only were the team dependent upon him persuading his employers at Western National Ltd to regularly replace their luxury team coach and continue with the contract, but when Firstbus bought the company from Western National Ltd he often found himself fighting their shareholders demands for reasonable profit with his own wishes to stand by the needs of the team and supporters club.
When Firstbus decided that coach hire was a dying industry as far as profitability was concerned and made him redundant along with the whole private coach hire division, he bravely relied on experience from his days as the owner of Roberts Mini Coaches and risked every penny of his own money to start a new company with just half a dozen coaches, which he since grew by working 70 hours a week to be the largest coach hire company in the South West of England.
During this time he has continued to support Plymouth Argyle’s Team and supporters and his situation today, with the licensing authority, is caused in part by risking the purchase of a brand new team coach, the deposit for which meant dipping into a £100K pot of ready cash which he was supposed to stump up and keep available to prove financial standing.
Several of your contributors have mentioned alternative suppliers for transport, including sighting Roselyn coaches often parked in Citybus, but this is only because Citybus provide them with essential engineering services which many smaller companies like Roselyn cannot provide themselves in the way Target Travel can.
Citybus owned by Go Ahead is the only local company large enough to provide any alternative, but they will not wish to be involved in providing any single use luxury team coach with half the seating capacity required by the average hirer and their supporters coach hire prices will much better reflect the economic cost of their provision and will come as a huge shock after the generous nature of Robert Risk to our supporters club.