Friday 5 June, 2020

Knutsford readies for move to Drax Hall, revamps operations

Knutsford Express is gearing up to move into its new terminal at Drax Hall, St Ann. 

Knutsford Express is gearing up to move into its new terminal at Drax Hall, St Ann. 

Knutsford Express is revamping its business model to cope with the downturn in business caused by the spreading coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a bid to contain costs, the luxury transportation company has suspended passenger services.

It is planning a phased reintroduction of passenger service, with smaller passenger loads per vehicle and mandatory face masks. 

Knutsford Express is also gearing up to move into its new terminal at Drax Hall, St Ann. 

“We should be moving there (to Drax Hall) before May 1. So, our passenger service will restart at that location, thereby offering increased efficiencies at that time,” Knutsford Express CEO Oliver Townsend told Loop News.

Townsend explained that the company is cutting cost and time of travel by relocating its facilities in Island Village, Ocho Rios to Drax Hall, in proximity to the exit point for the Edward Seaga Highway.

The new Drax Hall location will also function as a logistics hub for Knutsford.

Knutsford Express CEO Oliver Townsend

Noting that the “COVID-19 situation is highly fluid”, Townsend said he would continue to update the public.

As at Tuesday, April 7, Jamaica recorded 63 cases of the coronavirus. Globally, the virus has infected over one million with over 75,000 dead. 

Businesses, here and abroad have been forced to scale down their operations.

In the meantime, Knutsford will focus its efforts on providing private charters and courier services, Townsend emphasised.

The CEO said that the suspension of passenger services resulted from the necessary period of restricted movement and heightened isolation.

Jamaicans have been advised to avoid unnecessary movement outside of their homes and to keep groupings at ten or below.

A curfew, which also limits movement at night is to be extended.

Townsend said he is looking forward to a “phased restoration of passenger services in a sterile “Knutsford Express” environment, where the mandatory wearing of face masks is required (we’ll provide to staff and all passengers), checking of temperature, air

purifiers on our coaches in addition to physical distancing measures in the offices and maximum seating set at 50 per cent on our coaches.”

The company is also working on the continued digital development of systems so that customers and passengers can opt for purchasing and boarding with less contact, the CEO said.

As relates to financing its operations, Townsend said discussions with insurers and bankers are ongoing.

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