National Coach Week attracts MP support
MPS have shown support for the RHA’s National Coach Week.
Taking place between 1 and 8 April, the campaign saw a specially liveried Irizar i6 travel 1,876 miles across the country as part of a national roadshow. The campaign’s aim was to celebrate the industry and highlight the importance of its role in society.
RHA has said the campaign received significant backing from Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston, who met with the RHA’s Andrew Warrender in Westminster at the beginning of the campaign. Also offering their support at campaign events were Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham; Mike Amesbury, MP for Weaver Vale and Welsh Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething.
“The coach sector is great for contributing to all the goals we’ve got for the environmental agenda” – Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston
Mr Huddleston said: “[The coach sector] was one of the first and hardest hit sectors, but I can also say it can play such a key role in the recovery, because people love their coach holidays.
“There is a huge affinity, there is a huge repeat business, which shows just how much people love them. So, I’m here to support them as this sector comes back.
“The coach sector is great for contributing to all the goals we’ve got for the environmental agenda. This is because by large numbers of people travelling by coach that means we’re not having all these people in cars creating pollution and causing all the congestion on the roads.”
Key RHA staff visited coach operators, tourist destinations, training facilities and important transport infrastructure sites, including the Beamish Museum, The Royal Mint Experience, Rhondda Heritage Park, Hensol Castle Distillery, RHA’s training facility in Bathgate, DAF Apprenticeships in Bristol, Eurotunnel and M6 Toll. The coach also visited Anthony’s Travel in Runcorn, where it attracted the attention of local MPs and local councillors. The coach concluded the tour at the UK Coach Rally in Blackpool (see our extensive coverage of the Rally in issue 1613, 15 April 2022).
“National Coach Week and the UK Coach Rally have been some of the first coaching events to take place since the pandemic and showed us that operators are raring to get out and about again” – Andrew Warrender, Operations Manager at the RHA
Andrew Warrender, Operations Manager at the RHA, said: “National Coach Week and the UK Coach Rally have been some of the first coaching events to take place since the pandemic and showed us that operators are raring to get out and about again. It was great to see so many old friends.
“Confidence is returning and whilst industry still has to tackle rising costs and challenges of recruitment, most will have come away last week feeling more enthused as it’s another step along the road back to normal service.”
The campaign also attracted attention from further afield, gaining backing from notable figures including Tranmere Rovers player Jay Spearing and world-famous boxers Tony Bellew and Carl Frampton, further highlighting the importance of coaches in sport.
The RHA plans to make National Coach Week an annual event.