BACKstop: Have your voice heard in the fight for the future of the coach industry

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A new survey, backed by three prominent coach operators and Backhouse Jones, is hoping to gather specific coach industry data to deliver to the government as evidence of how badly it has been affected by coronavirus

Live from Friday 13 November 2020, an industry-wide survey is seeking to gain information to help promote the plight of the industry and add weight to pleas for help. Put together by an independent group, Backhouse Jones has offered its services to host, collate and present the survey free of charge, appointing Laura Hadzik to head the project.

Following feedback from a recent meeting held with Candice Mason of Masons Coaches, Baroness Vere and various other MPs, a lack of passenger data or evidence to show a detrimental effect to the wider public and the communities the industry serves was highlighted and the survey aims to rectify this. Its organisers said that previous submissions by CPT have focused in the main on the financial element and proposals for support.

Also highlighted is the lack of understanding of the difference between coach and bus sectors, giving rise to the misconception by many that the support offered to the bus sector applies to the entire PCV sector. The survey aims to lend further weight to emphasise what the coach sector offers the public and what would happen if there was a demise of the coach industry by addressing the lack of passenger data for the coaching sector, to allow it to more effectively document the effects of the pandemic on the coaching industry and the wider community.

The organisers said that the survey is being organised independently of CPT, in order to reach as many operators as possible, but CPT will be encouraged to share and promote it and emphasised that the survey is not intended to detract from, nor is a criticism of the work of others including CPT have carried out, but should complement any previous submissions and cover areas previously not explored sufficiently.

Following the closure of the survey, the data will be collated and put into report format by Laura Hadzik and the Backhouse Jones team and, subject to a meeting being granted, will be presented to the Baroness and interested parties by Laura, Candice and Jenna Rush, organiser of Honk for Hope UK, people who are passionate about the industry.

It is hoped that if the survey is successful in uptake it may be revisited annually, which will provide ongoing reliable data of passenger and market trends which will be beneficial to operators, manufacturers and suppliers in identifying areas of development, growth and investment.

The survey remains live for one week, operators are urged to complete it as soon as possible at:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=52f6fcploEy3vJFB15aYPbfjizxetutIhkn7u44aPZhUMFlaN0MxRlg0MUtQT01OSU8yOVdMNDIyUy4u