Operational Updates

Dear Allenby Coach Hire

We have received a communication from DfT with the very surprising and disappointing news that the Cabinet Office has advised that ‘private hire coach trips’ in England are currently only permitted for a private group of a single household/support bubble (with the coach driver and tour guide not counting towards the single household/support bubble rule).

Private Hire coach trips

Cabinet Office advises that ‘private hire coach trips’ (in England) are currently only permitted for a private group of a single household/support bubble

The communication from DfT acknowledges that this differs from the previously understood position as set out in the DfT’s Safer Transport guidance for operators, which states that social contact rules preventing passengers from gathering with those outside their household/support bubble“…do not place any capacity constraints on public transport services and private hire vehicles, including organised coach travel” and advises that “Operators should continue to provide transport services that can accommodate separate multiple groups which conform to the requirements of the relevant social contact rules.”

Based on the new Cabinet Office guidance, which the Department says set the parameters for coach travel, private hire coach trips/tours carrying multiple household groups will only be permitted from Stage 3 of the Roadmap, currently scheduled for 17 May. It says that such trips carrying multiple household groups will not be permitted until then. DfT says that it will update the Safer Transport Guidance to clarify the matter shortly.

CPT officers are very aware that this decision will have a serious impact on those restarting excursions and private hire trips as part of the Government Roadmap. We very much feel that this guidance is unfair and non-sensical, and have made this clear to the Department. We have stressed our belief that COVID-secure coach trips are in reality as safe or in some cases safer than the alternative of passengers using public transport to reach their trip destination. Our Chief Executive, Graham Vidler has this afternoon met with the Minister, Baroness Vere and set out our position very clearly. The Minister has agreed to review the matter and see what can be done. We shall also be writing to the Cabinet Office as a matter of urgency.

Keith McNally – Operations Director, CPT UK