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

Backing Britain’s Coaches.

Today CPT is publishing its coach strategy that sets out the value of the coach industry to wider society.  The strategy also includes the policies we need to see from governments across the UK to help ensure that coach operators can fully deliver these vitally important roles, including support to help restart following the pandemic.

You can read the strategy hereor download the helpful PDF here.

Mandatory wearing of face coverings on public transport in England

Ahead of the official guidance being published, Department for Transport has provided CPT with the following information to help bus and coach operators in England prepare for the mandatory wearing of face coverings by public transport users from Monday 15 June.

**Please note that this is not official guidance and some of the information contained within this update may be subject to change**

Who will have to wear face-coverings?

Public transport users required to wear a face-covering if they can
  • All passengers on buses, coaches*, domestic and international trains, trams, passenger ships/vessels and hovercraft, aircraft, and cable cars in England.
  • DfT is working with the Devolved and Administrations and operators to test options on face coverings for cross-border and international services.
  • The regulation will not apply to those in other spaces such as stations, seaports or airports, but operators may choose to ask their passengers to wear a covering in transport hubs where appropriate.
  • The regulation will only apply to passengers, it will not apply to the workforce. The wearing of any protective clothing or PPE by the workforce is a matter for the operators to address following a risk assessment as part of their health and safety responsibilities. DfT will work with operators and other interested parties to ensure that face coverings are available to their staff.

Who is exempt?

Passengers with the following health and non-visible conditions are exempt
  • Following an Equalities Impact Assessment, exemptions will apply to those with:
  1. Breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions.
  2. Conditions affecting their dexterity, meaning they are not able to put on a face covering.
  3. Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders.
  4. Other non-visible disabilities such as autism.
  5. Cognitive impairments, including dementia, who may not understand or remember the need to wear a face covering.
  6. Visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view.
  7. Impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face-covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain.
  • DfT also expects there to be reasonable judgement to ensure people can respond appropriately to avoid the risk of harm to themselves or others, and seek emergency medical assistance if required.
  • The exemptions also apply to those who rely on lip-reading. This would include carers who are travelling with someone for whom a face covering will inhibit communication.
  • You will also be able to remove your face covering for eating/drinking if necessary and taking essential medication.
  • The regulation will not apply to children under 11 or children on dedicated school transport services.
  • DfT expects everyone to wear a face-covering if they can. The above list of exemptions is not exhaustive and would extend to someone who has a justifiable reason for not wearing one on the grounds of health or disability not outlined above.

What about compliance?

Operators asked to remind passengers of the rules and regulations

  • DfT hope that the travelling public will be happy to wear face coverings to help protect others, and therefore hope that there will be high levels of compliance with this new policy, reducing the need for enforcement.
  • Operators have discretion over how their staff can enforce this regulation. DfT asks operators to remind passengers of the rules and deny access to services, or remove passengers from services, if they continue to fail to comply without legitimate exemption. The regulation will include specific powers for operators to do this.
  • Where the above steps fail, the police and potentially other bodies will be provided with the power to fine a passenger if they continue to refuse to comply and/or become anti-social. The exact fine level will be in line with the existing Coronavirus restrictions.
  • DfT is working through whether transport operators and unions would be content for their staff to have fining powers, or if it will only be the police with those powers. DfT welcomes views on this.

What is a face covering?

Passengers urged to make or buy their own face covering
  • A face covering is a cloth covering that covers the wearer’s nose and mouth which can be made at home. You can find out how to make one here.
  • You should not use medical grade PPE as this needs to be reserved for health and care workers, people should make or buy their own. However, someone wearing PPE would be compliant with the regulation.
Minibus Hire Sidcup

BBC Children In Need: 2019 Got It Covered

In the summer of 2019, ten of Britain’s most critically acclaimed actors came together to take on their toughest role ever: to record an album for the wonderful @bbcchildreninneed.

We were delighted to help transport to the ‘Half-Moon Helpers’ to the world-famous Abbey Road Studios to help complete the recording process!!

“In the summer of 2019, ten of Britain’s most critically acclaimed actors came together to take on their toughest role ever: to record an album for BBC Children In Need.

This 90-minute film charts the making of the album, Got It Covered. Its stellar cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman, Shaun Dooley, Luke Evans, Suranne Jones, Adrian Lester, Himesh Patel, David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker. With just 12 weeks to record the album, each actor must choose a song that has special meaning for them and must make their cover version their own.

Cameras follow the actors behind the scenes as they cram rehearsals into their busy schedules. The illustrious company get to grips with being out of their comfort zone and we see the real them unfold. To help guide our actors on their musical journey are veteran producers Guy Chambers and Jonathan Quarmby and vocal coach Mark De–Lisser. There are also a few surprises provided by Will Champion and Jonny Buckland from Coldplay.

The actors also visit some charity projects that Children in Need supports in order to help raise funds and awareness.”

Please click here for more.