Snowdonia Travel "acquired' by Cityfox

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by nesw, 4 Nov 2016.

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  1. nesw

    nesw Member

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    'Waste their time'? Sounds like I've hit a raw nerve, good to see the usual professionalism is alive and well.

    I'm rather surprised that Route One haven't done their homework and just copied a press release and taken it on face value.

    It's all very well for someone to be ambitious and want to be successful however, one might be forgiven for being sceptical following the numerous aborted ventures over the years.
     
  2. RhysHand

    RhysHand Member

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    Suggesting you'd just call them is a waste of time. For your information, the press release to Route One didn't come from us.

    'want to be successful' is a funny comment. I think what I have built up so far is rather successful and a lot of top industry people think the same, no offence, but their opinions mean more to me than yours.

    On another note, how many ventures have people like Richard Branson and Alan Sugar, Philip Green, First, Stagecoach etc etc tried that failed? Lots. It's called entrepreneurship.
     
  3. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    I still find it rather strange that Phil Stockley is involved. A bit of this is niggling me and saying that something really doesn't add up. There must be a bit more to all this story.
     
  4. THarris123

    THarris123 Established Member

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    Indeed it is entrepreneurship and for someone as young as yourself it is so far a good success. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.
     
  5. PhilStockley

    PhilStockley Member

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    Well here I am, so let me see if I can help.

    By way of background, it may help you to understand that I'm not motivated by working my way up the greasy pole of a large organisation, and much of my career has evolved as a result of a desire to seek different challenges and expose myself to new experiences.

    I am very fortunate to have enjoyed a largely successful career in senior management roles in several of the large PLCs, as well as working for smaller companies and of course running my own business - with mixed fortunes in the end, but certainly with more good experiences than bad - for several years.

    For reasons that will remain private for the time being, I reached a point earlier in the year where I wanted to move on from Wellglade, and didn't want to move back into PLC life.

    Rhys and I found ourselves discussing his achievements to date and his plans for his businesses, and I felt that I could do something to help. I found Rhys to be a very open and impressive individual, with incredible drive and determination. He was open about both the good and bad points of the story so far, but for someone of 21 I felt he had achieved a huge amount, and as he himself has said, very few people of that age haven't made a few mistakes along the way.

    Whereas most people of 21 are content to sit in a steady job or look for an easy life, I felt that Rhys had shown massive courage and bravery in putting his head above the parapet and taking responsibility for his own business (and the livelihoods of others in the process) and if my experience can contribute to that, then so much the better.

    So that's why I'm involved. The Group can benefit from my skills and experience not just in helping to plot our own development, but also by earning income from doing outside consultancy work, and I'm gaining lots of interesting new experiences in the process.

    In an industry where the concept of 'total transport' is a new and emerging growth area, we are already attracting attention for the fact that we are integrating buses and taxis within the same organisation, and that's just the start of it, so watch this space.
     
  6. nesw

    nesw Member

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    Without getting into a discussion, I think it's interesting when someone becomes defensive when asked about their business.

    I'm not suggesting that your taxi business is unsuccessful. With respect many are somewhat bewildered by the puffs of publicity for various ventures and nothing to back it up. (Kernow Fox is one of many examples.) Surely it makes business sense to get things off the ground and then publicise it? Otherwise one might be forgiven in believing the reality of the next venture.

    I understand that the Splendour Coaches venture is quite complex and whilst much of the company affairs are private, one should be able to ensure that the potential customer and the public at large are able to ensure that the correct procedures are followed and they are travelling with a legally sound and safe company.

    I fully expect Mr. Stockley to also take these postings as a negative and a personal attack but that couldn't be further from the truth. Ambition and success are fantastic attributes but when one searches for Rhys Hand on search engines , the results aren't exactly complementary.

    I have no reason to doubt any of what has been claimed and I'm purely taking an interest to scrutinise items in the public domain.
     
  7. RhysHand

    RhysHand Member

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    I DON'T have to comment on here or answer any questions. I choose to, because actually, a lot of people are very positive about the business and what the group is doing.

    Think about it from this prospective, why would you go and start a business in a flooded market when you could work with an already successful provider and receive a guaranteed reward? I could invest 100k into Plymouth for it not to work? Or I could work with a local operator and receive guaranteed profit!

    Everything CityFox or any of its companies does operates 100% compliantly and legally and we have procedures and a management team in place to ensure it can't.

    The fact is, people generally in life are very jealous. Most hate to see others do well, especially those that are younger. I am doing what most are scared to do and it's working - teamfox is amazing, it's doing amazing things and there are lots more to come! The developments for the next possible acquisition started today, so trust me when I say, watch this space.
     
  8. nesw

    nesw Member

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    My final word for now on the subject. The Splendour Coaches website (it needs to be proof read), in common with other Cityfox websites , makes some very bold claims.

    'OUR FLEET

    Our modern, comfortable and stylish vehicles are maintained to full manufacturer guidelines by our own qualified staff. Whatever your requirement, we can find the right solution for you from our range of vehicles. All of our coaches and minibuses meet the most recent environmental requirements and boast all the essential features to deliver comfort and efficiency.'

    I'm not aware that there is a fleet or a working operators centre?

    There's other equally bold statements that at this stage of the Companies timeline are ambitious to say the least.
     
  9. RhysHand

    RhysHand Member

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    Yes because every coach company's that wants to develop would write 'nackard old sheds' wouldn't they. Because that would generate positive response !!!

    Vehicles do exsist under that licence.

    I am not responding to you anymore, you are clearly trying to pick at faults with each of my businesses. My advise to you is, rather than be a keyboard warrior, go and try it yourself, then you'll see how difficult it is to start in business.

    CityFox is flourishing and will continue to do. Yes I have made mistakes, but so does every entrepreneur, difference is, I have learned from them, hard work, determination and drive has created me a good transport business that operates at a profit and continues to expand.
     
  10. nesw

    nesw Member

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    Well, we will have to agree to disagree on a number of aspects and if anything the tone of Rhys' responses cast further questions about the Companies. I'm reminded of Philip Green's defensive and bad tempered appearance at the select committee this year.

    Rhys or Phil don't have to respond on here and are entitled to run the organisation as they see fit but if one seeks publicity, then others are going to look behind the glossy press releases and images. The term 'jealousy' is not applicable.

    I and many others (within and out of the industry)certainly will 'watch this space'.

    All the best.
     
  11. richw

    richw Established Member

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    Rhys, in all lines of business you will be scrutinised. Its most important how you handle that scrutiny.

    As some constructive feedback I would suggest getting consistency over all of your social media and websites.
    For example across various medias you have different numbers of vehicles quoted from 40 to 100.
    You also advertise on cityfox that you operate local bus services. A check with the TC your o-licence has been surrendered.
    With the fine details so inconsistent people are going to question you.
    Please take this as almost like a feedback from someone proof reading your publicity, as members of public will question your integrity if such information is inconsistent.

    Just google yourself, or your businesses to see the inconsistencies and you will understand my point and I am trying to help you succeed with better presentation in the public domain.
     
  12. PhilStockley

    PhilStockley Member

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    A couple more general comments from me:

    Contrary to NESW's expectations, I don't take comments about me here as negative or personal. I'm pretty thick skinned and in general I realise that most people are here in the quest for information, so I lay myself open to scrutiny and will catch anything that anyone wishes to throw at me. But clearly it's a two way street and if someone chooses to criticise, they can expect a robust response.

    Before I got to know Rhys, I'd read all the same stuff on all the search engines and it would have been easy to jump to all the same old conclusions. But I believe in finding out for myself, and when the opportunity came to get to know Rhys I discovered that so much of what is written is borne out of ignorance and jealousy. And quite frankly someone who - at the age of 21 has entire Facebook pages devoted to slagging them off in a totally libellous and insulting way, but still has the guts and determination to keep going and persevere and make something of himself certainly deserves some support.

    I hope people will give some credence for the fact that we are here, happy to answer questions and clarify, even if you're not obliged to like us or agree with everything we do.
     
  13. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    As this has come up before, i'll say it again - I completely agree with you. Yes, you don't have to answer on here Rhys, but by responding with such comments and tone's such as ''The fact is, people generally in life are very jealous. Most hate to see others do well, especially those that are younger. I am doing what most are scared to do and it's working'' continues to take a nock against the professionalism you desire to achieve, which in turn the questions about your integrity will remain by some. I'm in my mid 20s as well, I wouldn't mind running a business myself, but I am not jealous, I am not scared to work, and I'm happy to put the hard work into what it takes to achieve one of my many goals. I will not however go onto the internet, criticise people who make comment, appear to not be able to take on constructive feedback and at least keep my nose clean. These comments, combined with the already mentioned comment about your business inconsistencies and internet history, may well mean that it will take time to putting it frankly, believe you, your plans and potential future business - Put yourself in the mind of an investor or member of the public for example. It's all too easy to put on a song and dance, but a trip to facebook / linkedin or google can easily put a crashing end to many a plan.
     
  14. RhysHand

    RhysHand Member

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    Thank - you for your constructive comments. I will admit that we do need to keep on top of our websites and social media. We now have Sophie who manages our social media and websites and she is slowly going through everything to refresh it and keep them up to date.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I'm not going to go round and round in circles and have a 'spat' with you. This forum is for answering CONSTRUCTIVE questions about the industry and transport businesses, not for making personal comments or attacks. I am not interested in what your opinions about me are.

    If you have any business related questions, Phil or I will do our best to answer them.

    Rhys
     
  15. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Fair enough Rhys/Phil,

    For a basic business question could I just ask you to clarify:-

    Which businesses (transport related) do you run ?

    Which bus/coach/taxi operations are 'live' - available to see in the flesh tomorrow ?

    How many buses/coaches/taxis do you actually operate ?

    If you can answer these, most basic of questions, then I'm sure we'll all be a lot better informed and more able to enter into constructive dialogue in the future.

    Thank you.
     
  16. RhysHand

    RhysHand Member

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    1. Current live transport business owned by CityFox Group are:
    * CityFox Taxis Bristol
    * CityFox Taxis Bath
    * CityFox Taxis Plymouth (under a marketing agreement with Plymouth Taxis)
    * Snowdonia Travel
    * Excite (Although does not operate vehicles, it supplies transport consultancy and marketing to bus, coach and taxi operators)

    2. All the businesses above.
    3. We up until recently had a number of buses parked up, surplus. We were renting sites in Bristol and Cornwall. We've taken the commercial decision to dispose of these older vehicles and sites and look to purchase newer ones. We've just purchased a Scania Omnicity, we'll be looking to add further vehicles too in the near future.
     
  17. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    I thought it would be a good idea to post this

    I worked for an employer that had a bad reputation for failed companies, failure to pay wages etc etc... and yet he was the best employer I ever had... the company had an extremely high customer satisfaction rating, etc etc...

    what I would say to Mr Hand though is just don't rise to the bait when comments become personal... rise above it and show your maturity and professionalism... ultimately you will have the last laugh through your success
     
  18. RhysHand

    RhysHand Member

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    You are so correct! Because I've been laughing for the last 9 months!

    I make sure we treat the staff right, and then the attitude reflects off to our customers. My staff mean everything to me. They're my family!
     
  19. THarris123

    THarris123 Established Member

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    Very well put regarding the staff Mr Hand. I do think your comment about laughing for the last 9 months isn't the most professional. There are certain comments on here and social media which you have posted which still aren't quite as professional as they should be. Now I'm not saying they should be as professional as an accountant writing to a client, but just a little bit more professionalism would really help. I do admit though your comments on here are much much better than what they used to be, so I really take my hat off to you.

    I will very happily admit that I'm jealous of Mr Hand. For someone who is about the same age as me to own so much and have done so much is very highly commendable. I do just wish I could have done more.

    Initially when I learnt of Cityfox I was rather full of criticism (and I am still a be now) and Im rather sceptical on the company, but as I've looked into it a bit more and you and Phil have said so much on this forum, I've learnt that it is quite an achievement. For Mr Stockley to say that he's basically fed up with being in a big plc takes guts too.

    I'm sure all of us would highly appreciate it if you could inform us of the buses, bus companies and bus services that come on board.

    Lastly I do just want to say thank you for coming on here and explaining so much. It's very useful having someone so high up in a transport company on here telling us stuff in a fair bit of detail. Not many managers tend to provide much to us, so some of us (especially myself) have to end up guessing what they're plans are or could be (although having FSW official on here has really helped to be more informed of what's happening a bit in first).
     
  20. Colly405

    Colly405 Member

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    I would agree.

    Can't say that I was overly impressed with the publicity from CityFox early on, but people here really should give you a chance. From what I can see, things are evolving, and definitely looking more "professional" (for want of a better word!). There may have been setbacks, but as has been said, any entrepreneur get them. And some people may have gotten upset, but then read Richard Branson's autobiography to see that isn't unusual.

    Let's be critical, but let's do it in the same way as we do for any other company on this forum. The problem is that there aren't many companies where senior people come on here (the only other vaguely local example that I can think of is FSW, who has themself got frustrated in the past with the tone of some posts. It spirals easily into what look like personal attacks, whether they are meant as such or not.

    Let's have our opinions, but let's appreciate that both Rhys and Phil are willing to come on here and explain as much as they can what is happening, which they certainly don't have to do!
     
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