Coach and bus industry support

Suppliers have written to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps (pictured) asking for his department’s support to ensure the future of the UK’s coach and bus industry.

They say that it would safeguard tens of thousands of jobs and help to deliver clean air targets. It would also facilitate social inclusion. Some of those who have signed the letter have also offered to meet Mr Shapps and his officials to discuss how they could work together to satisfy its aims.

The letter was sent on Monday 18 May. The idea for a call from suppliers for industry support came from Ian Downie, Head of Yutong Bus UK at Pelican Bus and Coach.

The message notes that Mr Shapps and his department are already in “close contact” with the industry’s operating side. But it asks that he does not lose sight of the fact that a declining road-based passenger transport industry would have far-reaching implications. They would affect not only for operators, but also a wide range of supply and service-focused businesses in the UK.

A significant investment holiday in new vehicles would “sound the death knell for many of the businesses currently in the supply chain,” the letter continues.

“It is vital that government funding is provided immediately to enable coach and bus operators to invest in their fleets, and therefore their suppliers, with confidence.

“We urge you to work with us and operators to identify mechanisms such as coach and bus scrappage schemes, procurement grants and support with financing or leasing arrangements that enable operators to continue to order vehicles and services at this time of great uncertainty.”