February 11 2021

Following the virtual lobby of Parliament on Wednesday (10 February) here is an update on the actions CPT is taking to maximise the enthusiasm from MPs to take up the industry’s case with government.

We have been in touch with the MPs who attended the event and provided them with a briefing on the current situation facing the industry, including what we want to see from the Government. These are:

  • The Government to encourage commercial lenders to allow greater flexibility in finance repayments and ensure that no operator will have to start to pay back a government backed loan until they have had the opportunity to see business return.
  • As soon as restrictions allow a positive and unambiguous get on the coach message from government, including as part of any promotion of UK tourism.
  • Committing to ensuring the coach sector can access any additional support provided to the leisure and tourism industry.
  • Ministers to follow the lead of the Scottish Government and introduce a per vehicle grant based scheme for coach operators as suggested by CPT last summer.

You can download a copy of this briefing here (under lobbying materials/template letters) and I would urge you to contact your MP, regardless of whether they attended the event, to ask them to write to the Chancellor and Transport Ministers on your behalf in advance of the Budget next month asking for a commitment to introduce these policies.

We also heard the very welcome news that the Transport Select Committee will hold a one-off evidence session on coaches. This is something that CPT Chief Executive Graham Vidler asked the chair to consider when he met him last month and he has now written to the Chair of the Committee urging him to hold this session as soon as possible – you can read Graham’s letter here (under lobbying materials/template letters). Once the details of the inquiry are announced we will provide members with details on how they can submit evidence and advice on how to do so.

The UK Government’s position remains unchanged around providing specific support to the sector but the only way we will change their mind is by continuing to apply pressure both centrally via CPT and through MPs where your support is incredibly helpful.

If you missed the lobby or would like to re-watch it, click here.

Thank you for your continued support to Back Britain’s Coaches.

Tom Bartošák-Harlow, CPT's Head of External Relations