CPT asks Baroness Vere for support if Coronavirus escalates

In the event of passenger downturn CPT seeks government support to safeguard the industry

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has written a letter to Baroness Vere to ask for support for the coach and bus industry in the event of any potential escalation of the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) outbreak.

At the time of writing it is still safe to travel.

Concern for operators

Hannah Patmore, CPT External Relations Executive says: “The letter has been sent in the event of any potential escalation, rather than as a response to anything that’s happening now.”

The letter states: ‘It is increasingly likely that we will see a downturn in passenger numbers due to a general perception that exposure to large numbers of people in confined spaces should be avoided.

‘This downturn will be further compounded if the government implements a social distancing strategy and/or uses its powers to limit the use of public transport.’

Written by Chief Executive Graham Vidler it states that ‘in order to ensure that the sector can withstand such economic impact and continue to provide an effective public service both during and after any Coronavirus outbreak, government support is imperative.

Key points

CPT is asking for:

  •  Relief from the need to give statutory notice periods to change services impacted by a downturn in demand or lack of staff
  • Supported and contracted service revenues to be maintained at an appropriate level even if local authorities reduce mileage or if staffing constraints mean operators cannot provide full timetables
  • Continuity of payment for operators of home-to-school transport at an appropriate level if schools are closed
  • Concessionary revenue to be maintained
  • No net increase in the rate of fuel duty payable by coach and bus operators
  • Guidance to be issued about school trips

CPT is also urging the government to consider providing financial support for operators in the event of a significant escalation and official advice not to travel.