Further to dozens of complaints from some of our supporters following the coach travel operation to the EDF Energy Cup Final at Twickenham (on Saturday 12th April, 2008), we would like to relay the following to all our supporters...
Twickenham EDF Final Coach Operation - Formal Statement
Further to dozens of complaints from some of our supporters following the coach travel operation to the EDF Energy Cup Final at Twickenham (on Saturday 12th April, 2008), we would like to relay the following to all our supporters (and letters/emails have been sent directly to all those concerned):-
First of all, we would like to extend our sincere apologies to all those who were unfortunate enough to be seated on one of the eleven 70-seater coaches supplied for this trip. As clarified already to many of you, we were unaware that in booking these coaches, they were what has been coined 'school buses'. We had expressed concern regarding the use of such buses, following last year's EDF Final coach travel operation, and had assumed that our comments and requests had been taken on board. We would firmly agree that such coaches were unsuitable for such a journey, and were disappointed this wasn't considered by the coach company who made the arrangements on our behalf. Sadly, and despite the fact that the overall coach operation (i.e. the other 30+ coaches) worked well, these 'school' coaches supplied spoilt for some what should have been an enjoyable day for all.
Many of you challenged the 'legality' of providing such coaches for adults, when invariably supporters were unable to use seatbelts due to insufficient room. We presented these comments to the coach company and requested they put forward the relevant certification, which they did (please read the attached official response from VOSA regarding this). It would appear that the coaches supplied, while not 'fit-for-purpose' (from our point of view), were perfectly 'legal' and that the coaches were suitable for as many as 70 passengers.
Having discussed things further with the coach company over the past few weeks, it has been mutually agreed that the profit element of the travel operation, payable to the coach company, will be donated to our official charity, Macmillan Cancer. As such, we will be presenting the charity with a cheque in the next week or so, once we have reached agreement on the amounts involved.
For any of you who simply refused to travel by means of the coaches supplied, we will be offering a full refund, and we are aware of one situation where this occurred.
As Ospreys Rugby, we remain firmly committed to providing all of our supporters with the best in travel, and will be re-doubling our efforts this coming season to ensure that away transport is both economical & comfortable.
For all those concerned, we trust the conclusion to this situation meets with your approval, and hope you will be both able & willing to continue your much-valued support this coming season.