Day trips: guidance still in conflict
The CPT reports that the government is sticking with the conflicting guidance from DCMS, but believes that existing guidance still allows day trips in specific circumstances
The Confederation of Passenger Transport has confirmed that the government has not backed down on conflicting guidance from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the DfT, and says that it does not want private hire groups to travel until Step 3 of the ‘roadmap’ – starting on 17 May.
However, the CPT has pointed out that within that guidance, travel is allowed between two fixed points, with pre-arranged boarding points, as would happen with planned day trips, and technically those are still permitted.
“[The Government] does not wish to see Private Hire journeys for leisure purposes operate before Step 3, and although CPT believe that these journeys can be operated in a COVID secure manner the guidance currently is that these trips should not operate,” says a statement from the CPT. “However this guidance does not restrict operators providing educational, essential worker and other non-leisure related transport to customers.”
Because the conflict of advice still remains, the CPT added: “Most importantly, following our discussions with officials we are also of the view that coach day trips/excursions which share the characteristics of scheduled services (scheduled timings, pre-arranged drop-off/pick-up points, etc) will also fit within the guidance [from DCMS] and therefore can continue to operate.
“The definition of a scheduled service that the Department has provided to us is one “from a designated starting point to a designated destination point, with fixed designated intermediate stops where different passengers may board or disembark.”
These services are interpreted as performing a public transport function and day trips meeting this definition are therefore permissible, said the CPT.