CPT will continue to push for support

CPT is working to ensure government maintains policies to assist operators through the pandemic

It’s become a cliché to say these are unprecedented times. But for all of you, whether you’re running tours, getting children to school or providing a local bus network, the impacts of the pandemic on your business truly are without precedent.

It is at times like this that trade associations can come into their own in representing members’ interests to government and highlighting the role that you are all playing in the national effort to tackle coronavirus COVID-19. CPT has been working flat out to ensure that the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments continue to introduce policies that can help you and your business survive these tough times.

Our operations team and Regional Managers, as well as our Scottish and Welsh teams, are also answering queries as quickly as possible. If you are a CPT member please get in touch to see if they can help. CPT’s website also has a dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 resource centre where you can find the latest information and updates.

“I don’t underestimate how difficult the current situation is for operators at the moment but CPT is here to fight your corner with governments across the country”

I’m pleased to say that in addition to wider business support packages that have been announced we have made welcome progress for both coach and bus operators, although we recognise there is still further work to do. I hope that the measures we have secured to date will make a difference to your businesses over the coming weeks. These include:

  • Confirmation that across England, Scotland and Wales, home-to-school payments should be maintained – although I recognise there are still different approaches being taken by local authorities and CPT is pursuing this
  • Guidance from the Local Government Association encouraging local authorities to provide the same support to coach operators that is available to leisure businesses. There has also been welcome progress on this in Scotland, and we continue to push for these measures to be available in Wales
  • The introduction of a bus support package worth £167m to allow an emergency network to continue to run during the crisis and get key workers to and from work
  • Inclusion of transport workers as key workers, meaning their children can still attend school.

We have also managed to secure a range of operational changes to reflect the difficult circumstances that operators are experiencing. These include a temporary exemption from Driver CPC for those whose qualifications expire between 1 March and 30 September, plus authorisation to deliver Driver CPC training remotely.

We are not resting on our laurels and are continuing to work on outstanding issues, including clarity on how a range of business support schemes will work in practice and specific support for the coach sector. I will share any updates as we get them.

I don’t underestimate how difficult the current situation is for operators at the moment but CPT is here to fight your corner with governments across the country, and ensure that the coach and bus industry’s voice is heard loud and clear at the heart of Westminster, Holyrood and Cardiff.