Call for coach support following cancellations

Coach operators are experiencing bookings cancellations due to the Government guidance to prioritise social interactions in response to the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

In response to this, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has written a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, seeking Government support for the industry.

A spokesperson from CPT said: “We are unfortunately hearing reports of cancellations from operators across the country at what is traditionally a very busy time of year. Operators had slowly begun to recover from an incredibility difficult 20 months, with significant disruption to their businesses but inexplicably a lack of government support.

“With people being encouraged to minimise social interactions it is inevitable that hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses will suffer. It is vital that these sectors, which includes coach operators, are given the support they need as a matter of urgency to help project 10,000s of jobs.”

The letter notes that returning confidence in using the coach gained this year has been dented since the rise of the variant. It reports members are seeing cancellations of 40%, with some much higher levels, representing £10,000s of business being cancelled in the last few days.

Signed by CPT Chief Executive, Graham Vidler, it mentioned the Treasury’s suggestion the £250m grant funding which it believes has yet to be handed out by local authorities ‘is given to businesses that need it’. According to the letter: “This unquestionably must include coach operators.”

Media reports have highlighted similar cancellations in other industries due to the spread of the new variant, notably hospitality.

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