RHA Coach to provide trade-body alternative

Move signals ‘new beginnings’ for the industry

Commercial vehicle membership organisation, the Road Haulage Association (RHA), is to create a new membership package to support coach operators.

RHA Coach is expected to launch in April 2021 and is in response to coach operators approaching the organisation following what it describes as feeling let down by the representation offered by their current trade body. RHA acknowledges that 2020 has been a difficult year for the sector, which requires urgent support. Adding coaches to its portfolio of representation fits with the Association’s strategic direction: to be the representative authority for driving business on the roads.

In addition to coach, the RHA serves the commercial vehicle, truck, van and plant sectors.

As an RHA member, coach operators are to be offered access to the same intelligence, support services and resources provided to all RHA members but with the added benefit of some sector-specific support designed to help coach operators maintain productive and profitable operations. To manage this new specialist group, the RHA is expanding its team and recruiting both operational and policy roles from this field of expertise.

“By joining forces with the RHA we are able to finally provide a voice that will be loud and proud for coach operators” – Richard Bamber

Richard Bamber, Managing Partner at Anthony’s Travel, said: “The coach industry is an essential but unheralded part of the UK transport system which usually tends to go under the radar and unheard. By joining forces with the RHA we are able to finally provide a voice that will be loud and proud for coach operators.

“This is truly part of new beginnings for the industry, where operators will benefit from the RHA’s long-established strength within government, their expertise and increased access to commercial partners. It provides assurance at a time we need it most and puts the coach industry in a much stronger position for the future.”

Richard Burnett, Chief Executive at the RHA, said: “I’m sure the immediate reaction of some to this news will inevitably be one of surprise, however there are remarkable similarities and synergies between the operators of HGVs and coaches.

“Coach fleets vary in size – the smallest having less than ten vehicles and the largest around 100-150. Many are family-run businesses with depots in one or two regional locations, operating a range of different vehicles sizes to meet the demands of their customers.”

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