Shropshire Star

Family-run coach company Longmynd Travel celebrates 50 years in business

A Shropshire coach company is celebrating a golden period after completing 50 years in business.

Son Tom Sheppard-Evans, directors Mark Sheppard and Val Sheppard-Evans and Matthew Sheppard-Evans (Operations Manager)

Longmynd Travel Ltd Coach Hire Specialists was first established in 1973 by George and Joan Evans.

It has since expanded from its original office in Snailbeach and now operates from large facilities at Lea Cross just outside Pontesbury on the edge of the Shropshire Hills.

The family business is now run by George and Joan's daughter Val Sheppard-Evans and her husband Mark.

"We are very proud of the company and this milestone," said Val.

"When my parents Joan and George (who is 90 this year) started the company in 1973, they did so with one vehicle.

"We have grown to 22 vehicles now and the business has always been family-run.

"My husband Mark and I joined 30 years ago and our son Matthew works here as well.

"Hopefully he will be the future of the company."

Joan and George Evans

Val said the family feeling also spreads further, adding: "Our drivers aren't just a number.

"They are very much part of our business as well. It's one big family."

She said the industry is not without its challenges.

"We are always looking for more drivers, with no young people coming into the industry," she said.

"When older drivers retire, the young ones are not coming in and we need a push from the Government on coach drivers.

"Times change rapidly, with clean air zones and different regulations and you are having to adapt all of the time.

"We have to get coaches to Euro 6 standard and we are proud that ours are that.

"We are thrilled to reach 50 and we had a big party in the yard and invited all our old drivers and other ex-employees, who used to work for us. It was great afternoon of reminiscing."

Longmynd Travel's fleet offers Access for All with vehicles ranging from a 16-seater minibus to 70-seater coaches.

They are members of Visit Shropshire, Coach Tourism Council and RHA and UKCOA.

They provide the away team coaches for Shrewsbury Town Football Club, AFC Telford Town Football Club and TNS Football Club.