Concern for coach companies as wait continues to get back on the road
The director of a coach company has raised concerns over the lack of advice tour operators have been given by the Government to restart travel.
Richard Lavender, director of Majestic Holidays, based in Shareshill in South Staffordshire, has hit out at the Government following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions on June 23, saying there has been “no updates” for re-instating private hire coach travel.
He said: “We believe coach operators should have been included as we are able to operate within the guidance given for public transport. The alert level has been reduced allowing for more free movement with the advice being given, to still stay vigilant when travelling on public transport.
"This advice can be applied to coaches. Surely coach operators can resume recreational travel if there is the demand and passengers are informed of the risks.
“The reduction of social distancing measure from two metres to one metre plus, allows us to fit into that category and safely carry passengers.
“The advice contained on the Department for Transport website seems to be aimed more towards public transport, taxis and air travel, there needs to be more clarity for other forms of public carrying transport.
“A discussion between the Government, transport department and local councils could help to alleviate the confusion over the legalities transporting the public in this way.”
Majestic Holidays is taking a number of additional steps to ensure its coaches are safe for customers when they can resume travelling.
They include reduced seating capacity, asking passengers to wear face coverings, investing in automatic hand sanitiser dispensers and using contactless thermometers before departure.
Mr Lavender added: "Due to the lifting of restrictions within England, the general public who do not have access to their own vehicle are looking for the safest way to escape pressures of the lockdown and some form of escapism.
"We have had numerous enquiries from our customers asking when our services are resuming, unfortunately we are unable to give them a definitive answer.
"Allowing coach operators to resume would help the Government by reducing furlough payments when our staff return to work, allow our businesses to re-coup lost revenue and help contribute to the economy."
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