MP Tracy Brabin joined coach operators from Batley & Spen and across the country in calling on the government to provide sector specific support to this vital industry.

Ms Brabin joined Kingston upon Hull West & Hessle MP Emma Hardy, who hosted the event and Shadow Buses and Local Transport Minister Sam Tarry, alongside a cross party group of MPs, who came together to hear from the Coach Industry and to show the government there is political will to address this important issue.

Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake as a result of coach operators struggling to secure business as the coronavirus pandemic goes on, and yet there has been no sector-specific support for coach companies, unlike for bus, rail and light rail operators.

One operator’s passenger numbers fell from more than 38,000 in 2019 to 195 in 2020, and the furlough scheme has been the only source of support up until this point for some companies, with industry experts estimating that 80 per cent of coach companies were unable to access the Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme.

Industry experts estimate up to four in 10 companies could go bust and 27,000 jobs could be lost if no support is made available.

Many of these companies are family-owned small businesses. Livelihoods and homes are at risk without support.

Local companies that joined Tracy at this event were Star Coaches of Batley, Safeway Coaches Ltd, Mini Travel Executive and J&B Travel, who Tracy visited in September and saw first-hand the measures put in place to make sure coaches are COVID secure.

With the Transport Secretary telling the public not to book a summer holiday here in the UK, coach operators are undoubtedly facing another summer of misery.

Ms Brabin said: “It is grossly unfair that the coach industry has been abandoned when other transport sectors have been given support from the government.

“Coach companies are often at the heart of our communities and it can’t be right that owners are at risk of losing their homes through no fault of their own. It’s not too late.

“Government still have time to save this sector and I would urge them to listen.”