1991 - Laguna Travel was founded in 1991 as an accompaniment to Laguna Hotel, our first vehicle was a Volvo Joncoheere purchased from Club Cantabrica of Watford. From the moment we viewed it we fell in love. It was an excellent full executive coach, well maintained and at a great affordable price. She had everything, not only TV & video but hot drinks, WC & washroom, fridge and it even had a microwave. What more could one ask for on a first vehicle? Now when JBZ 1664 was purchased, the idea was to feed customers into the hotel to compensate for the falling numbers of people vacationing in Bournemouth due to cheap package deals abroad. Putting a coach to work in this way was a very slow business, it took a considerable amount of advertising and mail drops to get established, but after the second year it started to pay off.
1993 - After two years as a coach operator we were ready to purchase a second coach! We decided to stick with a Volvo so we purchased A3 ARV from Arvonia coaches in North Wales, another excellent full executive coach. Particularly aiming our business at social clubs, business was going from strength to strength and with the introduction of our tinsel and turkey christmas themed break, we seemed to have a winner.
1994 - We took our first party across the water, Bransgore under 14s football team, all the way to the twin town of Allen in Germany. This was a very successful trip (and they won).
1995 - Our first update to our first Scania Plaxton Paramount 3500 F700 CWJ, also a full executive, this came from a dealer in Tiverton, Somerset.
1996 - The private hire side of things was coming together but we still needed more business in the hotel. We bit the bullet and for a considerable cost we advertised heavily in the midlands and although it was slow it did pay off.
1997 - We decided to go for our third coach, one we saw at the Evobus dealer depot in Lincolnshire. It was a choice between two sister coaches, after much deliberation we decided on Scania Irizar L572HRJ, a beautiful vehicle and very modern looking. This was just what we needed to compete with the likes of some of our competitors. Now Laguna Travel was growing with three full executive coaches, more guests to the hotel and private hire was going strong too, we decided to update and say good bye to our last Volvo. We purchased the second sister coach from Lincolnshire Scania Irizar L100SCS so now the pair were back together. Our fleet was now up and together with some very modern looking coaches. Going from strength to strength, 1999 was a very good year.
2000 - We extend even more with our fourth coach, this one from Redline in Preston and only 18 months old, an up-to-date looking coach with the new front end Scania Irizar R22RED, quite a far cry from our first vehicle.
2001 - So now we had a complete Scania fleet with a Plaxton Paramount and three Irizars. It was only a matter of time until we needed to welcome a new coach to the Laguna Family. Expanding meant not only more vehicles but more passengers, so after many trips visiting vehicles around the country, we settled on a spectacular looking coach... the Ayats Bravo Double Decker with seventy five passenger seats and brand new with a cherished number plate as well Y8 LAG. The pride of our fleet, and our first brand new coach arrived on 1/6/2001. A lot of people questioned us as regards to people traveling up stairs, but those who venture up certainly do not want to go down, with some of the breath taking views you get. This also ment the parting of F700 CWJ, our plaxton, from the company fleet.
2002 - This was a fine year, with private hire doing well and the tours from the midlands doing exceptionally, a very successful year.
2003 - Another year of new developments with the addition of T413 OWA on the 18th March, bringing the fleet up to five vehicles. Thriving as a fully executive coach business, we decided in the November to purchase our second brand new coach YN53 OZJ. Without a part exchange this time round, Laguna s fleet was growing. The hotel was as busy as ever with up to four pickups a week from the Midlands, we ventured to London pick ups. These were slow to pick up and the low numbers made it hard to make viable tours from London. Not wanting to disappoint new clientel, we cancelled very few tours even with the low numbers.
2004 - Towards the latter end of the year, we reduced the number of trips from the new areas due to stiff competition from London operators.
2005 - Private hire bookings were good, we had found a place in the market for good quality vehicles at an economical price. We purchased YN05 HFR, another brand new coach in June. Now we were puchasing brand new vehicles, it seemed we could not really back track to used vehicles. With this purchase, we continued to grow!
2006 - This started off as a very good year with regards to the private hire operations, so much so we added our first non executive coach, a scania intercentury 55 seater YN56 NRX.
2007 - Trying to spread more into school outings we found Paris transfers did particulary well. During the latter part of the year we purchased YN57 FYZ to replace R22 RED and another increase with YN57 FWV in December.
2008 - One of our best years yet. We decided after going to the NEC exhibition to purchase our first I4, a 59 seater Coach, it was one of the first in the country. It did lack a courier seat, but a very good vehicle nonetheless, having two near side opening doors. This was to be one of the first of many I4s that we were to buy.
2009 - Another brilliant year.
2010 - In June, we purchased our second I4. And then its sister coach in Late 2010, being a 60 plate. Two coaches in one year certainly hit the bank balance.
2011 - We purchased a Mercedes Viano, which was just a 7 seater.
2012 - We say good bye to our Ayats Bravo, which we replace it with a Volvo Berkoff Axial 100 with 83 Seats.
2013 - In the latter part of the year, after the NEC exhibition, we purchased our 3rd I4 which was a 63 plate. Definitely a place maybe we shouldn't go to, as it always seems to be rather expensive. We built up, gaining large client base with quite a few schools by this point and school transport is doing exceedingly well.
2014 - We moved onto another executive tri-axle coach. It was going to be the last EURO 5 coach we were going to buy. This one had 61 seats. We chose all the colours and fabrics right the way down to the flooring. A beautiful coach. Massive amounts of leg room and massive amounts of luggage. This was to take place of R57 plate, which went. Although an excellent coach. We ended up buying another 64 plate I4. Which meant we had 15 standard school coaches in the fleet. Things were going swimmingly, as you could say.
2016 - Offered a 53 seater, I6 twin axle slightly smaller than the 14 plate that we had purchased just two years earlier. A very good coach, economical, and of course not such a large engine as the original. The I6 only has a 9 litre engine but ideal for hotel pickups and private hires.
2017 - We purchased a double decker bus with the goal in mind to support a school contract we were going to have for many years to come. An ideal vehicle carrying up to 80 passengers sat down and seat belted. Very reliable vehicle, ideal for school runs and swimming contracts. Being a bus meant that the little ones could get on and off the vehicle nice and quickly without any problem. No hassle with the stairs.
2018 - We purchased another Volvo, a Panther to be exact, 57 seat executive coach. A lovely vehicle, the new pride of the fleet. It went on to be one of our go-to vehicles for the day trips that had just started up.
2019 - Our Scania dealer persuaded us to purchase our first Chinese Higer coach on a Scania chassis tri-axle vehicle. A 59 seat executive with all the modern considerations, including USB ports, which is what everybody seemed to want. A very reliable vehicle. So much so in 2020 we ordered our second haygar and then, of course, the 23rd of March COVID hit.
2020 - Our new haygar didn't happen. It never came. Obviously. Everything was shutdown, Laguna Travel Limited shutdown without the wheels turning for well over five months. A very sad time.
2021 - In April a newcomer turned up, our new haygar. A beautiful vehicle with the bonus of a wheelchair lift and destination display.
2022 - Still struggling after COVID. Things not doing as well maybe as they had been with so many shutdown's. We're now just managing to get back on our feet again. We, like so many coach companies, haven't had any help at all from the government. Nobody really seems interested in coaches - little bit too much luxury and not really a necessity. What is forgotten is that a lot of smaller companies closed for good when Covid hit and now there is a lot of demand and a lot less supply!
2023 - Currently expecting a new Scania Haygar, so watch this space!
Mr Richard Legge, a friendly and kind hearted gentleman in all senses of the word, taught myself Richard and Brian Gwynne to drive. Without his assistance, help and guidence Laguna Travel wouldn't be what it is. Never a moan or a groan, he would just say "thank you very much" and proceed to do what had to be done, we all miss him very much.