This is without doubt the toughest message we have ever had to issue. Yesterday (Wednesday 18th March) we wrote a timetable that maintained most services, by yesterday evening it was out of date as schools were closed and the government advised against using public transport and we lost more and more staff to isolation.
We had also hoped for government support to help maintain services but at the time of writing none has been forthcoming. Indeed, unlike the retail or restaurant sector there is not even business rates or tax holidays available to us.
Therefore, the choice we are facing is either a complete closure or an even more heavily cut timetable. We have chosen the latter, to try and keep our loyal staff in work and to help get those, who still need to travel, to get where they need to be and also in the hope that government will step in and offer something more than loans and interest rate cuts to banks. Clearly some people are going to be upset by the loss of certain services and we feel for you and regret the cuts are as deep as they are but hope you will understand we really don't have any other choice.
Clearly operating even a reduced timetable with 90% less passengers is not sustainable in the long term and without some Immediate assistance the next change will be the final withdrawal of even this skeletal timetable.
To say we are devastated is an understatement. We are a local family run business and our staff are both employees, colleagues and friends and that we cannot shield them from this global pandemic is heartbreaking.
Once again sorry to those of you we are now leaving without a service and please in these tough times take care of yourself and each other.
Peter, Ross and Steve Newman
The directors of Ensignbus Limited.