RHA calls for better facilities
RHA Coaches is calling for action on driver facilities outside sports stadia and in city centres or out-of-town parking for coaches. It follows a letter sent by Richard Bamber of Anthony’s Travel on the lack of driver facilities outside Wembley Stadium published in Bus and Coach Buyer (issue 1615, 29 April 2022).
Richard Bamber said recent trips to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-finals and the Fury v Whyte boxing match have highlighted the lack of facilities for coach drivers. The latter was the largest event the modern Wembley Stadium has ever hosted and it is estimated as many as 16,000 tickets came directly from coach passengers.
Bamber is calling for a short and long-term solution to the issue of coach driver facilities, which also impacts city centre coach parking and new out-of-town sites.
RHA Coach has launched an online petition urging for more driver facilities.
“In the short term, we don’t think it’s too much to ask for some portaloos and a fast-food butty van” – Richard Bamber
Richard Bamber said: “Considering this is our national stadium you would have thought that at least some portaloos would have been available. Instead, drivers have to look around for toilets or use the ones on their coaches, which has the environmental impact of the engine idling.
“In the short term, we don’t think it’s too much to ask for some portaloos and a fast-food butty van – and, in the longer term a driver’s room, proper convenience facilities and food outlets should be put in place when coach parking is being planned.”
“Wembley should be a much better example of best practice than it actually is” – RHA Coaches lead, Andy Warrender
RHA Coaches lead, Andy Warrender, said: “Wembley should be a much better example of best practice than it actually is.
“As part of their efforts to press for greater utilisation and get permission for more events, the FA committed to push for increased mode share for public transport, the new 300 space coach park was part of the commitment.
“The FA partnered with National Express to run scheduled services, but it can leave very little for private charter coaches – in the case of the Fury fight, none at all.”
Andy also highlighted how the Football League play-off finals were an “annual cause of problems” – and possible rail disruption could mean more than 1,000 coaches are required if northern teams feature and the East Coast is disrupted.
“On the whole, Wembley does work for about 80 of the events – but it’s a big headache for those that don’t,” Andy concluded.