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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Carlisle coach firm fumes over rival's advert

Staff at a coach company were left furious after a rival firm chained a billboard advertising its business to a signpost outside their door.

Irving Coaches photo
Paula Irving next to the Reays sign

Paula Irving, a member of the family that owns Irving’s Travel, said she came in to work to find the sign for the company Reays outside her office on The Crescent in Carlisle city centre.

It advertised day trips and coach excursions for the Wigton firm, which has a travel centre in nearby Devonshire Street, and was yesterday morning chained to a metal poll displaying parking information.

“I was fuming,” said Miss Irving, whose family have run the Irving’s business in Carlisle for nearly 50 years and has had an office on The Crescent for about 20 years.

“It must have been done late at night or through the night. I got here and it was just outside.

“You don’t do that to a small company. What about our jobs and our business? This is a family business.

“I wouldn’t dream of doing this to them.”

Miss Irving said she was given “no prior notice” and said there was no dispute with the rival firm.

“They probably think we are not going to do anything about it,” she added. “I’m going to phone the council and see what they say about it.”

Irving’s Travel runs coaches on trips for days out, shows, holidays and other events.

Reays is a family-run business that operates the City Hopper bus network in Carlisle, a range of public bus routes and school services across Cumbria as well as a fleet of private coaches.

Competition for bus customers in the city has intensified since Reays started challenging national transport giant Stagecoach’s monopoly in the area two years ago.

The News & Star contacted a spokesman for Reays, who later confirmed the board had been removed.

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