The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has written to the English, Scottish and Welsh governments to request assistance with rising fuel costs which are impacting coach and bus operators.
The trade body has asked the governments to consider support for home-to-school services by way of a 10% top-up payment to the value of existing contracts and to review the “inequality” that exists between the coach sector and alternate transport modes which do not pay fuel duty – such as the rail and air sectors. The top-up would, it says, account to no more than £5m per month.
Citing the war in Ukraine as a driving factor in the volatile price of diesel, the letter makes reference to a 10% rise in fuel costs for some operators, and points out that home-to-school transport has been most severely affected.
It further warns of the risk that school contracts may be handed back if they are no longer viable – potentially leaving some 600,000 children requiring alternative arrangements.
According to CPT member feedback, local authorities have been unwilling to increase payments to account for the rising costs.
“We are very conscious of the serious impact that the rising fuel prices is having for all our members, and particularly coach operators that are just starting to see signs of recovery following the effects that the global pandemic had on our sector,” says CPT Head of External Relations Tom Bartošák-Harlow. “It’s vitally important that the governments of Britain listen to CPT’s call and take immediate action to ensure that over 600,000 children can continue to get to school safely and sustainably by coach.”