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Bus Services: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 132861, tabled on 30 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will facilitate the extension of finance holidays for operators to support the coach industry.

Answered on

11 January 2021

The Government understands that many operators are concerned about meeting their finance payments, and appreciates that the current situation is one that coach operators could not be expected to have foreseen. The Government urges operators to speak to their lenders.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has extended the deadline for payment holiday applications on mortgages and other forms of consumer credit until 31 March 2021. Lenders can agree to give payment holidays of up to six months in total for these arrangements. The customer must apply for a payment holiday and they are granted at the lender’s discretion.

More widely, there are measures available to support UK businesses, including coach operators. These include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Coach operators may also apply for either the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or the coronavirus Bounce Back Loan (BBL).

There may be other sources of support available to coach operators depending on their individual circumstances. A ‘support finder’ tool has been launched to help businesses quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them.

In addition to payment holidays, the Government has introduced a range of schemes offering direct financial support to businesses.

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