Twenty years on the road
Celebrating 20 years in business in 2017, A2B Coach Hire is a leading private coach hire operator based in Smithborough, Co. Monaghan. Boasting a modern, luxurious and efficient fleet, the family-run business can take care of all your transport requirements.
From humble beginnings in 1997 when Ann McArdle started with a Ford Transit minibus transporting youngsters to discos and matches, A2B Coach Hire has grown into a substantial coach hire and bus services provider with a 14-strong fleet and eight drivers, including two full-time. Operating on both sides of the border, the firm offers coach and bus hire for concerts, sports trips, school trips, corporate hire, airport transfers, social events, group tours and golf trips. A2B also provides a weekly licensed service for students to NUI Maynooth and runs a number of licenced routes for primary and secondary schools throughout Co. Monaghan.
“I never envisaged things turning out the way they have,”says Ann, who runs the company along with her son Aaron.
“As someone who started working life as a dressmaker, it’s been a big career change for me. The dressmaking was great from the point of view that I was able to work from home and bring up my children at the same time. But it eventually got to the stage where wanted to try new things and get out and about, so I decided to become a bus driver.
“After driving a school bus for Bus Eireann for a few years, I saw an opportunity to go out on my own. I bought the Ford Transit and the whole thing snowballed from there. Within a year, I upgraded to a 24-seater Mercedes 609 and we are now running 14 vehicles. I would put our growth down to the reliability of our service, the quality of our buses, our competitive prices and the fact that both Aaron and I are both hands on. We see ourselves as being bus drivers first and foremost.”
The McArdle fleet is one of the most modern, reliable, comfortable and safest operating in the Irish market. The executive coaches offer air conditioning, audio / video facilities, WC facilities, PA system and comfortable reclining seats with ample leg room. Wheelchair accessibility is also available on a number of vehicles. A2B’s friendly and helpful drivers will make sure your journey is as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
In addition, the company is committed to providing its passengers with the highest safety standards with each coach fitted with seat belts and the latest safety standards. All vehicles are fully insured in accordance with regulations, including employers and public liability cover.
A2B’s coaches range from an eight-seater Ford Custom right up to a quartet of Volvo and DAF 53-seater executive coaches. In between, there are 34-, 33- and 19-seaters, including two Mercedes Sprinters with wheelchair accessibility and a nearly new Mercedes 34-seater. Any maintenance or repairs is carried out at Haydock’s in Dungannon, Interparts in Cavan or McDonnell Commercials in Monaghan. The buses undergo their annual CVRT test at John Bogue Ltd in Monaghan.
A2B is licensed by the Department of Transport for national and international carriage of passengers. The company provides a number of licensed routes for primary and secondary schools through the Department of Education in Co. Monaghan, carrying over 250 children per day to and from school. The weekly licensed service for students to NUI Maynooth covers Monaghan, Castleblayney, Carrickmacross, Ardee, Collon and Slane.
Other services include private and corporate hire, airport transfers to Dublin Airport and Belfast City and International Airports, weddings, hen and stag parties, music concerts, special events, short excursions as well as national and international guided tours. If you require a tour or excursion for your company, group or organisation, Ann or Aaron will find a solution to suit.
“We provide day and extended tours for Cuilcagh Tours in Cavan and Corrib County Educational in Galway to name but two companies,”the affable bus operator explains.
“With Castle Leslie in Glaslough only down the road from us, it makes sense for us to cater for wedding groups. Trips to Country Music festivals are becoming increasingly popular. We do a lot of work for organisations such as the IFA and U3A (University of the Third Age) in Monaghan, who have about 300 members.”
A2B is a member of PAMBO (Private Association Motor Bus Owners), which is now linked to the CTTC (Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland).
Rather than increasing their fleet size, Ann and Aaron are focused on upgrading their vehicles and providing an even better service to their customers.
“The better your buses are, the better the work you get,”Ann maintains.
“We are also committed to adhering to the high standards we’ve set for ourselves and to continuing to give our passengers what they want. Having said that, there’s always scope for improvement.”
A2B’s location just four miles from the border means it’s ideally located to cater for clients in both the Republic and the North. To get a quote on the bus that fits your requirements or for any other information, be sure to call.
A2B Coach Hire
Telephone: 047 89831
Mobile: 087 2779070
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