Coaches offer inclusive, accessible and flexible transport to millions of people each year, which includes getting 600,000 children a day safely to school, contributing £14billion each year to UK tourism, and providing emergency transport when other services such as rail and flights are cancelled or diverted. Here’s what’s needed to enable coach operators to continue to offer the huge range of coach services millions of people depend on.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic coaches have played a vital role keeping communities connected and keeping the country moving. However, the industry has been devastated by the pandemic and operators have seen a collapse in their passenger numbers, finance holidays come to an end and no immediate return of the trips and tours that make up 80% of their income. To help support the industry we need to see:
You can read more about our aid to trade scheme here.
Clear Air Zones have a role to play in helping improve air quality in areas where that quality is low. With the World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognising that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today, cleaning up the air we breathe is more important than ever.
Coaches have the ability to take a substantial number of cars off the road which would greatly improve air quality and help achieve the objectives of Clean Air Zones. The current system of support for coach operators to upgrade or retrofit their vehicles has been welcomed, but access to this funding is a postcode lottery and is usually determined by an operator’s locality in relation to a Clean Air Zone and by their nature, coaches are often not based in the areas they serve. This is why we are calling for a national clean air fund to be created that is open to all coach operators to access, to help with retrofit and/or upgrade costs.
Alongside this funding, if Clean Air Zones have a greater focus on charging cars rather than coaches, it would help to make coach the most appealing travel option and encourage more people on board.
CPT and the wider coach industry are committed to making coach travel inclusive so that everyone can travel safely and comfortably, and we support the aims of PSVAR legislation. There has been a great deal of uncertainty over the PSVAR regulations in recent times but the Government is committed to their implementation.
The current process of time limited exemptions needs to end to help provide certainty over expectations to operators and passengers. CPT has proposed a solution that would encourage & enable the provision of accessible coaches on home-to-school (HTS) transport where they are needed and allow a manageable transition to a fully accessible fleet. Our proposal is made up of four elements:
Coaches can deliver much needed footfall to attractions and places across the UK when the time is right as restrictions are eased.
During the summer of 2020 we saw many of these attractions close their doors to coach trips meaning many people could not enjoy a day out and having a negative impact on local economies.
As restrictions ease and places are able to reopen it is important that as many places as possible are able to welcome coach trips and tours. The Government has a major role to encourage people to visit destinations once it is possible to do so and make it clear that those travelling by coach are as welcome as those using other means of transport.
You can find out about our latest campaigns here.