DG Cars acquires two more airport operations as Arrow exits taxi business to focus on food

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Nottingham’s DG Cars has acquired two more of Arrow Cars’ airport taxi operations, adding Leeds-Bradford and Bristol Airports to the East Midlands service it acquired in late 2021.

The move sees David Richmond, chairman of Leeds-based Arrow Cars, exit the taxi business after 18 years. He plans to focus on his fast-expanding food retail business, formerly known as Arrow Fresh but now rebranded Batch’d.

The expansion takes DG Cars total UK fleet to around 1,400 cars, and this is likely to increase. “We have also started a driver academy to recruit drivers into the industry who don’t have a licence,” said a DG Cars spokesman. DG was a double Gold Award winner at the 2021 Professional Driver QSi Awards, and successfully diversified into delivery work during the pandemic.

DG Cars is working with another large regional fleet, Middlesbrough-based Boro Cars, to take on the Arrow Cars Bristol and Leeds airport services.

In a statement, DG said: “These acquisitions demonstrate that DG Cars is fast becoming a major provider of transport services within the UK. We would like to welcome Arrow Cars customers new and old and reassure them that they are in good hands.”

“DG Cars are actively expanding within the UK and Taxi companies that want to be part of our growth are welcome to get in touch via socialfeedback@dgcars.co.uk”

The Arrow brand has been acquired along with the business and is being retained at the airports. “We have exciting plans for the future of our business, and we are happy that our customers and the communities that we serve will be part of them,” DG Cars said.

Last month Arrow sold its other remaining airport service, Newcastle Airport, to local operator Dean Taxis. It won the Newcastle contract in a competitive tender in 2019.

Arrow closed its Birmingham airport operation last year after just two years, citing driver shortages and a collapse in business during the pandemic. And in 2018, it lost its Manchester Airport contract to Street Cars in a competitive tender.

Chairman David Richmond said he was happy to leave the taxi business after two very tough years. “Our business was one of the worst hit by the pandemic, and it had the heart ripped out of it. I didn’t have the energy or passion to rebuild it – and I’ve found a new love with Batch’d, which is expanding all over the country.

In 2020, Arrow launched this business as Arrow Fresh, initially as a home delivery business sourcing food products from Yorkshire suppliers. Now renamed Batch’d, it operates kiosks selling desserts and cakes in 12 major UK shopping centres, with plans to increase this to 40 by the end of 2022. “The business is absolutely flying,” Richmond said.

Richmond said DG Cars was the right new owner for Arrow. “They’ll build Arrow back up to being a major player in the airport transfer business. It’s what the business needed.”