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LEFT IN LURCH AS LIMO FIRM FOLDS

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LEFT IN LURCH AS LIMO FIRM FOLDS

Post by Admin on Mon 14 Jul 2008 - 3:38

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=21070829&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922

BY DOMINIC HARRIS D.HARRIS

07:00 - 12 July 2008


Hundreds of party-goers have had their plans scuppered after a stretch limousine company was forced to cease trading.

Go Stretch Limos was dissolved in May after failing to file its annual returns to Companies House in time.

The move has left dozens of customers out of pocket and many more with bookings that now will not be fulfilled.

Louise Pullin, who runs the Hamilton pre-school at Holymead Junior School in Brislington, booked a 160 limo ride with Go Stretch for her 11-year-old daughter Paige and a group of her friends back in October.

Mrs Pullin organised the trip to celebrate their leaving Holymead Junior School on July 25 but when she called the company last week to pay the balance she was told it had stopped trading.

She said: "I phoned Go Stretch a couple of weeks ago to check where they would be dropped off, and nothing was mentioned then.

"Then last week I rang to make the final payment, only to be told they had been wound up.

"The person who answered said Go Stretch was no longer in existence. She was from another limo company, and said there was nothing more she could do."

Mrs Pullin, who lives in Brislington, now expects to lose her 50 deposit. She said: "We have rung around, but every other company is booked as it is the last day of term.

"There are 12 little girls who have just come back from a week at camp, and we have had to tell them that they aren't going to have their limo.

"They are devastated, and we have had a few tears and temper tantrums, but you can understand that.

"I am fuming. They were so excited, and it would have been lovely for them to have had a limo trip before they go off to different schools."

The company is also currently being investigated by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency after one of its limos burst into flames on the Downs in April, forcing the party of girls inside to leap to safety from the 74,000 vehicle.

Its director, Scott Demaret, is being called to a public inquiry by the traffic commissioner for failing to fulfil the requirements of his public service vehicle licence. But he is thought to have fled to Cyprus and put his fleet of limos up for sale.

Efforts to contact Go Stretch and Mr Demaret by the Evening Post were unanswered. The Go Stretch website and phone line are now being run by another limo company, All-Stretched Out.

Simon Ringham, the director of All-Stretched Out, said his firm took over the website and phone line on July 1, and has also bought three of Go Stretch's vehicles - a pink and a white Hummer, and a white Chrysler.

Mr Ringham said: "We will honour any bookings on these three cars until the end of July, and then they will be sold. Since we took over the site and phone it has been a nightmare. We have had a lot of complaints."

A spokesperson for Companies House said Go Stretch had been struck off and dissolved on May 7 because of "non-compliance".

She said: "The company didn't file its annual returns in time, so is no longer able to trade as a limited company."
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