Cut fuel duty, says trade bodies

Trade bodies call for an ‘essential user rebate’ for coach operators

Trade bodies in the bus and coach industry have got together to issue a joint statement concerning fuel prices.

The issuing of the statement follows a meeting by the organisations yesterday (21 March 2022) to discuss the issue.

The statement said: “As we approach the Spring Statement, the coach industry is coming together to ask for the Government’s support at this incredibly difficult period. The thousands of coach operators who support our school transport, tourism and leisure industry are operating under the severest of financial pressures with vast increases in wage, fuel, parts, and energy costs.

“Some coach operators have days left of survival. They are unable to absorb the alarming cost increases. Many coach operators who provide essential school transport for local authorities cannot pass on these costs as they are already tied into contracts which do not allow increases. The consequence of this can only be many contracts going unfulfilled and local authorities being forced to re-tender at a higher price.

“Coach operators need immediate assistance and this week’s fiscal statement is a vital juncture to support the industry. With 55% of the cost of a litre of diesel accounted for by tax, we ask for Government to cut fuel duty and introduce an essential user rebate for coach operators. This step would mirror an approach taken by other European nations who provide rebates for commercial operators.

“Throughout the pandemic, coach operators have endured months of cancelled bookings, travel restrictions, rising costs and millions in lost turnover. These cost pressures have a crippling effect and cannot be sustained.

“Our members are determined to play their part in the economic recovery getting people to places and attractions across the UK. We call on the Chancellor to support the industry to cover losses, protect jobs and vital coach services.”

The statement was signed by the UKCOA MD, Peter Bradley; RHA MD, Richard Smith; Chief Executive of CPT, Graham Vidler and Steve Whiteway of the Guild of British Coach Operators.

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