Jordan Ridley, the Managing Director of Ridleys Coaches founded the company at the beginning of 2009 fulfilling his lifelong ambition. From an early age Jordan had a keen interest in the coach industry and knew he would one day have his own fleet.
Within the first year of business, Ridleys Coaches secured school contracts with Warwickshire County Council; these contracts have grown with the company, going from 2 contracts in 2010 to today operating 18 for Warwickshire Council, 6 for the Warwick Independent School Foundation and 3 for Princethorpe college.
Since early 2009 Ridleys Coaches have provided transport and built up successful relationships with many organisations, including schools, football clubs, local businesses and charities. These operate around the Coventry and Warwickshire area, and also nationwide. Ridleys Coaches carries out a lot of work across London and were a proud provider for The London 2012 Olympics.
Our office is based in the heart of Kenilworth in Warwickshire and managed by Jordan Ridley, Nigel Harris, and Luke Lewis. They are a friendly and helpful team who will do what they can and go that extra mile to assist you with your requirements.
Our onsite maintenance is managed by Paul Ridley who together with his team, oversee all of our mechanical and servicing needs.
We trust you will enjoy browsing our website and finding out more about the history of our company. If you have any questions at all please contact our friendly Head Office team on 01926 430130 or email email@example.com.
In March 2009 Jordan Ridley made the first step towards fulfilling his lifelong ambition of owning his own fleet of coaches. His first vehicle, a Volvo Jonckheere Deauville and fondly known as ‘Lottie’, was purchased and Ridleys Coaches was born!
Jordan and Lottie started getting their names known by supporting other local coach companies when they needed an extra vehicle and advertising on line.
It didn’t take long for the word to spread, and before long Jordan needed help taking bookings and answering the phones. In stepped his mum, Lindsay Ridley and took over the running of his office whilst Jordan and Lottie hit the road!
At the beginning of 2010, the demand started for a smaller vehicle. Jordan took this opportunity to go on his favourite sort of trip….a coach buying trip!!! After looking around for some time, ‘Big Jeff’ the 23 seat Mercedes mini coach joined us. He was very busy over the summer period working closely with a local summer school and providing their transport around the UK.
This summer proved to be a turning point for Jordan and his coaches. There was such a high demand for his professional service and clean and tidy vehicles that in August 2010, Jordan was awarded 2 school contracts by Warwickshire County Council. This meant Jordan got to go on another shopping spree and buy two more coaches!
‘Tabitha’, a 49 seat executive Volvo Caetano and ‘Lil’ a 57 seat Volvo Plaxton Paramount arrived in the yard.
The arrival of the new girls brought the fleet number up to 4, meaning Jordan was no longer a ‘one man band’ and he had to advertise for full time drivers to help him with the increasing workload.
March 2011 was a sad month for us all as we had to say our goodbyes to ‘Big Jeff’ the minicoach. His demand had dropped and instead was moving to the higher capacity vehicles. In his place, in rolled ‘Penelope’, a 57 seat Plaxton Premier. She fitted in with the fleet as if she’d been here for years and started her work with us carrying out tours across the UK.
April was another exciting month as we were awarded a third school contract! This contract would be a particular adventure as it required a double decker. So off Jordan went, and came back with ‘Bruce’, a 74 seat Scania East Lancs double decker! ‘Bruce’ happily trundled from Rugby to Stratford and back again each day and a lot of schools saw him and took a great interest in him. His popularity soared and before long he was carrying the children of Coventry and Warwickshire on their school trips across the county.
It didn’t take long before ‘Bruce’ needed some help and in came his partner in crime, ‘Matilda’, a 70 seat Volvo Vanhool.
This took the total fleet to 5, and with this Jordan secured a further 2 school contracts to keep the girls and ‘Bruce’ busy!
August saw big changes at Ridleys HQ. Becs joined Lindsay in the office heading up the accounts side of things, and Paul and Lewie started the maintenance. A big, steel garage was put up in the yard and an inspection pit was purpose built. Enough to keep us busy throughout the summer holidays!!
We had just won a contract to transport the security for the Olympics from various parts of the country to London, so we needed another vehicle which could work in London (or so Jordan’s excuse went).
This seemed that Jordan couldn’t help himself with the January sales looming, so off he went to Volvo, reappearing a while later with ‘Clarabel’ a 57 seat Volvo Plaxton Excalibur.
After ‘Clarabel’ the spending stopped for a little while as we were far too busy for Jordan to be spending his spare time in the Volvo Sales room! The word of the Ridleys high capacity fleet had spread and before long The Girls and ‘Bruce’ were out during the day and the yard stood empty. About time to buy another coach I’d say!!
At the beginning of November, Jordan took a drive down to Oxford to have a chat with a fellow Volvo lover about purchasing one of her vehicles as she was upgrading. Needless to say the deal was done swiftly, and up turned ‘Annie’ a 51 seat executive Volvo Jonckheere.
Little did we know quite how much buying 2013 would bring…
January arrived, and with it a completed order form for two newly refurbished 74 seat Volvo Plaxton Presidents Double Deckers. February came and went and we thought the Decker’s order had signaled the end of the buying spree…unfortunately not.
March brought with it the new double decker’s ‘Thomas’ and ‘Percy’, and also two new coaches. ‘Roxanne’ a 48 seat executive Plaxton Paragon, and ‘Veronica’ a 53 seat executive Plaxton Panther. The fleet total now stood at 11, but we couldn’t leave it at an odd number, could we!!
‘Agatha’ a 57 seat Plaxton Panther joined the team, taking us to a nice even number of 12.
Thankfully Warwickshire Council had heard the word of Ridleys and their increasing fleet, and we won 4 new school contracts to keep everyone busy and the Accountant happy!
We were lucky to have Simon join our team in May as Garage Manager. It also saw the sad departure of Lindsay in the office as she had gone to explore pastures new.
We took on two contracts for an international company to provide transport for Silverstone and the Champions League. The drivers had an amazing time at each – they managed to get the Deckers on TV at Silverstone and in to the Press Box at the Champions League!!
After going a whole 7 months without a purchase, Jordan felt the need for something new and exciting. A quick visit to Leicestershire gave him the answers to his problems; a 71 seat 15 metre coach, the longest coach you can legally have on a British road.
‘Rebecca Jane’ (named after our very own Becs in the office and Jordan’s future wife) went off for a major refurb and didn’t join the team until mid-November when she turned up looking brand new. Word got out and bookings for her went mad! The full size seats and LEZ compliance made her perfect in every way and she started trundling her way around the country.
Not content with one purchase to end the buying drought, Jordan went down to Essex to look at another decker. This one was straight from operating in London and needed a complete refurb. ‘Henry’ arrived from Essex and went to straight to our friends at Rowan Telmac in Coventry where he’ll be for a number of weeks getting smartened up.
Becs and Jordan got married on the 28th December with ‘Rebecca Jane’ transporting all the guests to the Church and the reception. A fabulous day was had by all and there’s a wedding photo of Becs and her lads for all to see proudly displayed on the office wall!
March saw the arrival of ‘Lady Street’ a 14 metre, 57seat executive coach named after Jordan’s Nan who sadly passed away before meeting her namesake. Jordan had always wanted to own an ex ‘Lochs and Glens’ coach, and this was the perfect vehicle to fulfil that dream. She’s an incredibly busy coach and clocked up over 10,000 kilometres in her first 6 weeks.
The beginning of May had tensions running high. The sad demise of a local coach operator saw more school contracts being released to bid on, and hopefully, win. Jordan desperately wanted at least 3 of these contracts. A tense hour was had as we bid on 5 contracts, going on to win 4 of them! We started running these in September, so another excuse for a coach shopping spree!!
Last year’s Silverstone contract was back and the bickering amongst the drivers about who got to go was also back….I know who my money’s on!
We were approached by the Warwick Independent School Foundation at the end of June and asked to bid on their school contracts. In July we had the great news that we had won 4 of their school contracts and would be starting them in September.
The addition of 8 new school contracts saw Jordan having to go on another coach shopping spree…so much for telling Becs he was done spending for the year!!
The 6 week summer break started with a trip to Ensign in Essex and the purchase of a new double decker. This was going to be a very special decker as our friends at Rowan Telmac would be completely refurbishing it so it could be their vehicle in the coach show! ‘Gordon’ went straight to Geoff and Ian at Rowan Telmac and we didn’t see him again until he was on the stand at the NEC in November showing off his new and improved good looks!
After a trip to Essex, Jordan and his mechanics went back to Leicester to Caetano to purchase a sister for ‘Rebecca Jane’, named after Bec’s little sister ‘Victoria Louise’! Again, she’s a 15m 71 seat Plaxton and had a full refurb before she was ready for action at the beginning of September.
After Leicester, the lads went back down south to Chalkwell Coaches where they purchased 2 sister 53 seat Plaxton’s, ‘Lydia’ and ‘Kitty’. They were just what Jordan was looking for. 4 of the 8 purchased and we were barely into the first week of the holidays!!
A trip back up North to Plaxton saw the addition of yet another Plaxton. ‘Mary’ arrived in the second week of the holidays and went of to see Geoff and Ian for a respray and down to Duoflex to be upseated and remoquetted.
Jordan went for another visit to his friend Jo at Volvo arrived back in the yard with a 49 seat Van Hool ‘Georgiana’.
We then had a 6 week break in buying (Becs and the accountant breathed a sigh of relief) before Jordan and his merry men went on a very long mission to St Andrews Travel in Scotland. It was a big risk going so far for something you’d only seen photos of, but it proved to be a very successful day with the purchase of our first ‘non Volvo’ coaches! ‘Jane’ and ‘Elizabeth’ are 32 and 41 seat Mercedes Esker Tourings, ‘Jane’ has full leather seats and ‘Elizabeth’ is having her seats remoquette in leather in the new year! So far they’ve been great buys and we’re really thrilled with our ‘baby buses’.
We’re now up to 21 vehicles and Jordan has assured us (again) that he won’t be buying any more vehicles for another year. Watch this space as no one believes him!
Becs is leaving at Christmas to have Baby Ridley so won’t be in for a while (I bet she’ll be appearing at the office door more than she thinks, she’ll miss us!!) but is leaving the office in the capable hands of Jordan, Beth and Neil. We’re also hoping to appoint an Operations Manager to help with the day to day running, so a new voice on the phone may well be heard soon.
January brought very exciting times to the Ridley family with the birth of baby Alfred Ridley. Darren took the position of Operations Manager working alongside Jordan with the help of Neil managing the office. Jordan was in hot water as whilst his wife was in labour he had a phone call from the council asking if he could cover a new contract as the old operator had ceased trading. He asked Becs to hold on for a few minutes while he worked out a price and got back to them!
Sadly in April ‘Clarabel’ was taken off the road. A very expensive part on her had started to deteriorate and the decision was taken that it was not worth repairing. Parts of Claribel still live on as we sold her engine to a London operator along with her exhaust and gearbox to two other coach operators. The body of Clarabel was sent away in August to be recycled.
Easter came around and another new contract with the council commenced which serves Stratford schools until 2020! 6 months had now passed and no new coaches had been delivered…Jordan was getting itchy feet!
In May, Ridleys took arrival of our first brand new coach ‘Alfie’ (after the newest member of the family) a 53 seat Volvo Sunsundegui SC7; a big step for a family run company! However after a mere 4 weeks, our luck was out and another coach company drove in to the back of ‘Alfie’! We were all devastated as it meant our newest vehicle would be off the road being repaired for quite a few weeks at the busiest time of year, not ideal! It did give Jordan an excuse to buy a new coach to see us through the summer though…every cloud has a silver lining! We took the arrival of ‘Amber’ a Volvo 9700 in June to help us through the busy period.
After the busiest summer we have ever had, we could relax a little. Not for Jordan who took a trip to Volvo and completed another 2 order forms for 2 brand new coaches to arrive in September.
September soon crept up on us with the arrival of ‘Little Fred’ a Volvo Sunsundegui SC5 41 Seat coach and ‘Maisy’ a Volvo Jonckheere 53 seat Executive coach. We also won 2 more Warwick School contracts taking our total contracts to 18.
Ridleys have placed orders for 4 brand new coaches which will arriving this year, we are pleased to say we have 2 x 57 seat executive Plaxton Panthers arriving May 2016 and 2 x 63 seat tri-axle Plaxton Panthers arriving in September 2016. Both of these coaches have the euro 6 engine with the cleanest engine yet! This goes to prove Ridleys are an environmentally friendly company when it comes to purchasing new vehicles and that we go out of our way to source green and environmentally friendly coaches. Plaxton are owed by Alexander Dennis who are a British company based in Scarborough, so as a company we have also taken this into consideration when deciding which new vehicles to purchase.
We are pleased to announce that we have taken on a new a mechanic Marco Serafini to work with Paul and Kevin in our busy garage maintaining the Ridleys fleet and keeping them on the road.
Nigel Harris has joined Ridleys coaches as General Manager assisting Jordan with the smooth and efficient day to day running of the business along with working on new projects. Nigel previously worked as Business and sales manager for Broad Lane Leisure and is looking forward to his new role within the company and assisting Ridleys clients old & new.
We have also been successful in winning 5 (out of 6) new council contracts so keep a look out as we may soon be in your area.
We are planning a programme of excursions for the summer months so why not let us know your favourite places to visit and maybe you can join us!
1st New Coach of 2016 arrives at Ridleys
Monday 11th April Jordan took delivery of the 1st new coach of 2016, the vehicle a 36 seat Mercedes Plaxton Cheetah XL arrived at 12.15pm at Ridleys yard, there are a further 5 new coaches still yet to join the fleet later in the year.The coach was soon out on the road for its first trip, At 3.00 pm Luke was the lucky driver taking it out for the first time on a local school run.
Its Twins!! @ Ridleys Coaches
Tuesday 24th may saw the arrival of Jordan’s long awaited twins (coaches that is). 2 new identical Volvo B8R Plaxton Panther Executive 57 seat coaches arrived at Ridleys yard at 1.00 pm, Everyone was anxious to take a look, even more so the drivers who were keen to know which one of them was going to be lucky enough to be allocated one of these brand new vehicles.
These 2 new coaches now bring the number in our fleet to 28, as Jordan and Paul had been out scouring the country on the lookout for a couple of nice older coaches, they managed to purchase 2 used Volvo B10M Plaxton Premiers which were made ready for the road by Ridleys mechanics, once fully checked, serviced & resprayed, they were ready to be put in service for what will be a very busy summer for all at Ridleys. We also had a standard 49 seat coach converted into a 70 seater to accommodate our ever increasing demand from local schools for larger capacity coaches.
Ridleys summer excursion programme goes live with day trips planned to popular seaside towns.
Further New Coaches & Investment
2 new Plaxton Panther B 11 R Executive coaches arrived with us September, these are 63 seat coaches complete with on-board toilet. This takes the total investment to be in excess of 2 million pounds in the last 18 months with us adding to, upgrading & modernising our fleet.
With the demand from the school sector for larger capacity coaches we have responded positively by taking a further two 49 seat coaches have had them up-seated to 70 taking the total amount of 70 seat vehicles to 11 (which includes 4 double decker’s).
Due to this increase in our fleet, and the addition of extra school contracts from Princethorpe college & Warwickshire County Council we have taken on a number of new experienced drivers.
During the summer Arriva trains contracted us to work in partnership with them as part of their rail replacement programme which proved to be very successful and lead to very positive feedback for our team.
Keep your eyes peeled for more Ridleys Coaches coming to a stop near you!