COVID19 notices and memos

APART FROM THE TOP ONE (dated 23 March), ALL WILL BE IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER (newest at the top).

Coronavirus Covid-19 : Staff Update (as at Monday 23rd March 2020)

Dear All

Hopefully you are now all aware that the decision has been made to close the whole of the business with the exception of the Kingswear to Dartmouth passenger ferry. We live in unprecedented times and I’m sure that most of us have been left in a state of shock at the speed at which we have gone from business as usual to a virtual lock down. However, I can assure you that we have been planning for the current crisis since late January. We started to trim unnecessary long term spend just a few weeks after the virus was first reported in China and since mid February we have stopped all but the most urgent spend. The only exception was the extension at Churston which could not be stopped until the retaining wall had been completed. This needed to be completed for safety reasons and will be finished at the end of this week.

We are reasonably well placed to deal with the commercial impact of the outbreak and the measures announced by the government in the last couple of weeks further reduce the risk to the company and consequently, our jobs. For the next few months the government will be covering 80% of our wage bill and we will make up the difference for as long as it is financially viable.

It is very much our primary aim to secure the future of our business and we cannot do this without ensuring our staff our protected. We will continue to prioritise your job security to in turn protect the business. As I have mentioned, the best way you can do you part is to keep yourselves available to run the business when we again begin to operate. As I said last week, this will mean very few staff will be able to take holiday in July and August. I have been amazed at how willing everyone has been to do their bit with a number of employees cancelling their holidays as a consequence. I won’t name you but a huge thank you!  

I will aim to post a message each week to keep you all updated. Please take care and keep your distance!

Kind regards,
John Jones
Managing Director



Dear All

Well it’s now the end of the second week I think…. Does anybody have any idea what day it is???

I hope you are all well. There isn’t really much to update you on this week. I’ve spent most of my time negotiating an appropriate amount of financial support with the bank. Progress has been good but obviously the more we borrow the more we have to repay in future years. It’s therefore a fine balance between ensuring our short term survival without placing an impossible burden on the company in the long term.

You should all have received a letter earlier this week. If you haven’t received it please either speak to a colleague (all the letters are exactly the same) or get in touch with Debs (email: Hopefully it’s self-explanatory. The government wage support scheme is currently in place until the end of May so things should be fairly settled until then. Howver, should anything change I’ll let you know.

At the moment it’s looking like the very earliest we will be able to operate is June though I have to say I think that’s a bit optimistic. Obviously when we do have a better idea we’ll put together a plan to get up and running as quickly as possible.

On the bright side we are a week closer to going back to work than we were a week ago!

Please take care - and do all have a good, socially distant weekend.


If you have not already done so, please email Debbie with your email address so she can email your wage slips to you. Please do this as soon as possible. Her email address is:


The decision has been made to suspend the Kingswear-Dartmouth passenger ferry service until further notice. As mentioned above, we will update you all on this page as and when things change.