Essential user diesel rebate campaign for coach accelerates

Essential user diesel rebate campaign gathers steam

Moves to secure an essential user rebate for diesel used by coach operators have been further underlined after trade body RHA again urged members of the sector to write to their MPs to highlight the need for assistance.

RHA first called for an essential user diesel rebate in March. It asked affected businesses to send a template email to their elected representatives at that time. Support for its quest has already been gained from some MPs, but the Association is now asking coach operators to engage with more parliamentarians to further spread the message.

In the current template message, RHA additionally seeks to highlight what it says has been a failure to pass on to customers the 5ppl duty cut announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak later in March. It adds that many coach operators “have no choice” but to absorb fuel increases under the terms of contracted work and highlights how some other European nations have already introduced an essential user rebate.

The average bulk price of diesel in May was 142.71ppl excluding VAT, according to RHA figures, but the Association warned in early June that costs were likely to rise further. One small coach operator says that between January and a most recent delivery on 8 June, its fuel bill grew by 35%.

Richard Bamber, Managing Partner of RHA member Anthony’s Travel, adds that during a busy month, the Runcorn business would typically purchase up to 23,000 litres of diesel. When the above scale of increase is factored in, that represents an increase in outgoings of around £9,000 per month.

Mr Bamber says that while diesel prices are at crisis levels, the cost of AdBlue is also troubling. Anthony’s uses around 1,000 litres every six weeks and its most recent delivery was at the price of 80ppl, over three times the 26ppl paid in the recent past. While cheaper supplies are sometimes available on special offer from vehicle dealerships for less than 80ppl, “the price remains high,” adds Mr Bamber.

Download the text for the letter to MPs here.