Every coach operator in the country has been urged to complete a survey on passenger numbers. Its results will add weight to the industry’s quest for government support by articulating “the essential role of the coach in society,” the organisers say.

The Backstop survey has been created by representatives of three operators that have already been active in the call for assistance. They are Richard Bamber, Managing Partner of Anthony’s Travel; Candice Mason of Masons Minibus and Coach Hire; and Jenna Rush, Managing Director of North East Coach Travel. They are being advised and assisted by Laura Hadzik, Solicitor at Backhouse Jones.

Passenger data forms centrepiece of coach operator survey

The survey will create a body of passenger data and underline the extent of the essential transport that is provided by the coach sector. Those services often help passengers to feel socially included, say the organisers. Its results will demonstrate the “devastating impact on social groups and communities if the sector is unable to thrive.”

Backhouse Jones says the survey will take around 30 minutes to complete. Operators will need details of passenger and vehicle numbers for both 2019 and 2020. If actual passenger numbers are not to hand, the organisers request that a best guesstimate is provided.

Coach operator survey
The survey aims to articulate the key role that coaching plays in society

All three operators involved spoke at a meeting with Labour MPs Emma Hardy and Matt Rodda on 21 October when they explained the industry’s plight.

Ms Rush was the organising force behind the Honk for Hope movement in the UK over recent months. It has staged several protests. The largest – in London on 20 July – brought together around 420 coaches.

‘About showing the effects on society of an industry collapse’

“This survey is about showing what a detrimental effect on the UK’s population that a collapse of the coach industry would have,” says Mr Bamber.

“It is about the essential movements that we undertake as an industry and the communities that we serve. Coaching is not a luxury. It is an essential. We carry out transport for all manner of groups. That is why we need information that can be fed into the government to enhance our case for bespoke support.”

Access the survey here. The closing date for submissions is Monday 23 November at 1700hrs. Please note that data provided will be collated by Backhouse Jones. This survey does not form part of the ongoing routeone market research into coach operator confidence.