Coach industry springs into action during rail strikes
RHA has emphasised the part the coach industry has played in aiding travellers over the weekend as strikes severely limited the rail network.
RHA members were among hundreds of coach operators getting people to cup finals at Wembley and Hampden Park, the Epsom Derby and Beyonce’s London concert.
“It’s only when something like this happens that everybody jumps onto the coaches again and realises their importance” – Ken Savage from Moving People Ltd in Accrington
Ken Savage from Moving People Ltd in Accrington, said: “It’s only when something like this happens that everybody jumps onto the coaches again and realises their importance. Regardless of whether you’re going to the coast, to a sporting event or on a rail replacement it just shows that the country can’t function without coaches.”
An estimated 400 coaches transported fans of the two Manchester clubs to the capital, taking thousands of cars off heaving roads.
Savage added: “There’d be 80,000 people travelling down to Wembley all by car and you can imagine the sort of chaos that would cause. It’s obviously a greener option too – certainly far greener than taking 50,000 cars into the capital.”
Rob Marriott at Bayliss Executive Travel near Dover said demand for coach travel to the Epsom Derby has been “much stronger than usual”.
“The logistics of these events wouldn’t be possible without coaches” – Richard Bamber, of Runcorn’s Anthony’s Travel
Richard Bamber, of Runcorn’s Anthony’s Travel who are taking fans to Wembley, and Super League the Magic Weekend in Newcastle said: “The logistics of these events wouldn’t be possible without coaches – this is where they step in, and it happens time and time again.”
“Rail disruption shows just what a vital job coaches do” – Richard Smith, RHA Managing Director
Richard Smith, RHA Managing Director, said: “Rail disruption shows just what a vital job coaches do. Thousands of fans – and indeed holidaymakers off to countless other events and attractions – might have missed out, and businesses at a crucial time of the year would have lost much-needed revenue.
“This is why we introduced a coach membership a couple of years ago – it’s a sector which deserves far more recognition than it gets. We’re campaigning for the industry to be seen in its own right with its own needs and challenges, rather than as part of the bus sector which often has different priorities.
“This weekend shows once again that coaches can reduce roadside emissions by taking cars off the road, and offer vital support for other businesses.”
The RHA launched its Manifesto for the Coach Industry at the start of last month’s National Coach Week calling on politicians to support the sector.