Operators of scheduled coach and bus services in England are delivering a country-wide scheme to offer refugees arriving from Ukraine free travel from their port of entry to their sponsor’s home.
The offer began on Sunday 20 March and it builds on existing provisions already made by some operators to support arriving Ukrainian people. Those that take up the free travel need to show their Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket that shows arrival in the UK within the last 48 hours, in line with an equivalent scheme in the rail industry.
Agreement for the provision of free travel was reached between the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT). DfT is keeping a list of participating operators and the scheme will run for an initial period of three months.
CPT Cymru and CPT Scotland are involved in discussions around the same offer in Wales and Scotland. The Confederation has encouraged applicable operators in those nations to make the same provision as in England.
Commenting on the free travel scheme for refugees from Ukraine, CPT CEO Graham Vidler says: “At this incredibly difficult time for the Ukrainian people, we are happy to help give them a warm welcome and make their arrival as straightforward as possible.
“Many coach and bus operators have already offered to provide free transport to help Ukrainians travel safely on arrival in the UK. I encourage all who can to participate in this scheme so we can help everyone to get to safety.”
Adds Stagecoach Chief Executive Martin Griffiths: “We are proud to be playing our part in helping people who have been forced to flee from the war in Ukraine by working with DfT to give free travel across our services in England. We have been shaken to see the events occurring in Ukraine and our teams rightly want to play their part in making sure that people can get to safety as quickly as possible.”