To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they (1) have provided to date, and (2) plan to provide in the future, to companies providing coach services to ensure that those companies can remain in business to provide essential services once schools return to normal patterns of attendance; and what assessment they have made of the impact that the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic have had on the ability of coach companies to invest in low- or zero-emission vehicles.
26 January 2021
Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has announced a range of measures available to support UK businesses, including coach operators, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
On 5 January, the Chancellor announced a further £500 million of Additional Restrictions Grant funding for businesses that are not legally required to close, but which are nonetheless experiencing a severe impact on their business due to the national lockdown. Coach companies could be eligible for this package and are encouraged to contact their local authorities for more information.
Since September 2020, the Department for Education has provided more than £97 million for local transport authorities to procure additional, dedicated school and college transport capacity, including coaches. The Government has announced allocations for the first Spring half term, and these allocations will remain in place, with service levels adjusted based on local need. The Department for Education is talking to Local Transport Authorities about funding requirements for the rest of the Spring term, helping to inform future decisions on allocations.
The Government understands that the challenges created by the pandemic will have limited operators’ ability to invest in zero emission vehicles. The Government will continue to work closely with representatives from the coach sector to respond to ongoing issues caused by Covid-19 and, in the long-term, build towards a green recovery.