Two friends start new Cowfold coach trip company

Caroline Collins and Petra Davey of Cowfold-based Meridian Coach Trips (submitted).
Caroline Collins and Petra Davey of Cowfold-based Meridian Coach Trips (submitted).

Two friends who joined forces to set up a coach trip company in Cowfold are enjoying the challenge of setting up a firm from scratch.

Caroline Collins, who lives in Cowfold and works as a nurse for St Catherine’s Hospice, decided to launch Meridian Coach Trips with Petra Davey, and has organised its first trips to Winchester and London in November and December.

While the venture has had its challenging moments, she was looking forward to providing an enjoyable and different experience for people on their coach trips and ‘enriching people’s lives’.

Mrs Collins said: “It’s nice to be doing something that both of us enjoy taking part in.”

“It’s a planning process, but it’s good fun.”

She continued: “It’s great to be in contact with many people, we are both people who love meeting people and we like to find out about people and their experiences and pick up ideas from them.

“The challenge is trying to work out what you can do starting from scratch. Starting a new business is always hard.

“Both of us like a challenge and working out ways of building the business.”

When she suggested to Petra they just set up a business venture together, Petra mentioned the idea of setting up a coach travel company as her mum liked going on trips.

Mrs Collins explained: “There’s not many doing it out there and the ones that do them are good but they are often full.”

The pair have two trips already planned, one to Winchester on Thursday November 28, and another to London for Hyde Park’s ‘Winter Wonderland’ on Saturday December 14.

The first trip will pick people up from Horsham, Southwater and Cowfold, with the second trip additionally calling at Crawley.

She also has a background in the travel industry, having spent 15 years working at Gatwick for British Airways and Delta Air Lines.

She was involved in the fight to keep the 86 bus service in 2011 and said the campaign, as well as the subsequent work to find an alternative provider for Cowfold, had convinced her of the need for people to have access to means of transport.

“People need to get out and about,” she added.

“Laughter is the best medicine. It’s very good for your health.”

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