March 24 2021
Appearing alongside coach operators today, CPT’s Chief Executive Graham Vidler told the Transport Select Committee that the coach industry has had limited access to the support that has been available to other parts of the leisure and tourism industry.
During this one-off evidence session, Mr Vidler took the opportunity to emphasise that despite being an integral part of the UK’s leisure and tourism industry, coach operators have had little success accessing grants provided for the sector. He praised the Scottish Government’s £10 million Covid-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund as an example of a Government recognising the importance of the coach industry and highlighted that a similar fund in England would help boost the industry’s attempt to restart over the summer.
When asked what support the coach industry would like to see going forwards, Mr Vidler stressed that given the industry’s contribution to the leisure and tourism sector, it should be eligible for the same grants as other parts of the sector. Alongside that, the coach industry needs clarity and consistency from Government on the roadmap out of lockdown with a clear path through the social distancing review that does not leave coach behind.
Following the session, Graham Vidler said:
“Today’s inquiry was an opportunity to highlight that despite making huge contributions to the UK’s tourism economy, coach operators have been treated unfairly and have been unable to access the grants made available to the leisure and tourism industry.
“The Committee must now take our message to Government that the coach industry can help to kickstart the tourism economy but it needs to be treated fairly and given support like other parts leisure and tourism sector.
“It will be several months before coach bookings return to pre-pandemic levels but by providing support now, alongside a clear roadmap out of lockdown, Government will help safeguard the future of the tourism industry across the UK as well as the coach industry.”