In an unprecedented move, all four trade bodies representing coach operators have issued a joint call to government for a reduction in diesel tax as fuel prices soar, ahead of the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.
In a joint statement, signed by Peter Bradley, Managing Director – UK Coach Operators Association, Richard Smith, Managing Director – Road Haulage Association, Graham Vidler, Chief Executive – Confederation of Passenger Transport and Steve Whiteway – The Guild of British Coach Operators, they ask for immediate assistance.
The statement says:
“As we approach the Spring Statement, the coach industry is coming together to ask for the Government’s support at this incredibly difficult period. The thousands of coach operators who support our school transport, tourism and leisure industry are operating under the severest of financial pressures with vast increases in wage, fuel, parts, and energy costs.
“Some coach operators have days left of survival. They are unable to absorb the alarming cost increases. Many coach operators who provide essential school transport for local authorities cannot pass on these costs as they are already tied into contracts which do not allow increases. The consequence of this can only be many contracts going unfulfilled and local authorities being forced to re-tender at a higher price.
“Coach operators need immediate assistance and this week’s fiscal statement is a vital juncture to support the industry. With 55% of the cost of a litre of diesel accounted for by tax, we ask for Government to cut fuel duty and introduce an essential user rebate for coach operators. This step would mirror an approach taken by other European nations who provide rebates for commercial operators.
“Throughout the pandemic, coach operators have endured months of cancelled bookings, travel restrictions, rising costs and millions in lost turnover. These cost pressures have a crippling effect and cannot be sustained.
“Our members are determined to play their part in the economic recovery getting people to places and attractions across the UK. We call on the Chancellor to support the industry to cover losses, protect jobs and vital coach services.”