A new campaign is hoping to send out 500 ‘Wish You Could Hear’ postcards to MPs and influencers to raise awareness of the plight of the coach industry
Coach and bus insurance broker McCarron Coates has launched a campaign in support of ‘Honk for Hope,’ which focuses on getting more financial support for the coach sector to help it through the coronavirus crisis, and which it says sends a clear message to the Government – ‘Wish You Could Hear’.
McCarron Coates has produced a retro postcard, which carries a spin on the popular holiday postcard message of yesteryear, as well as an image of a coach of the same era, travelling the route around Great Orme in Llandudno.
The broker is using its oversized version of the postcard in photo calls that will help raise awareness of the plight of the coach sector and will be attempting to arrange such photo calls with its local MP and other influencers. The first of these took place with operator J&B Travel Ltd, a family run firm based in Stanningley, Leeds, which has suffered the same devastating impacts as its fellow operators during the pandemic.
McCarron Coates has also had a stock of postcards printed and will be sending a postcard to all of its local Leeds MPs, plus selected others, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak. It is sending unstamped postcards to its clients, so they can send a card on to their own local MP and said it can also send cards, on request, to other coach companies who wish to use the mechanism in order to lobby their own MP.
The coach insurance specialist also plans to involve visitor attractions, any celebrities that operators may know and community groups that rely on coach travel. McCarron Coates says its ultimate aim would be to get former ‘Wish You Were Here’ TV presenter, Judith Chalmers’, support but recognises that a budget would be required for that.
One of the brokerage’s directors, Paul Coates, said: “If we can get 500 cards sent out to MPs and other influencers, we should be able to start to make a bigger noise about the need for the Government to listen to the sector’s cries for help and do more than has been done so far. Ministers are simply not grasping the devastating impacts on family businesses in the coach sector and what that means for their livelihoods, their homes and their family life.”
Fellow Director, Ian McCarron, added: “Things have gone on far too long without satisfactory responses from the Government. Our ‘Wish You Could Hear’ campaign should drive the message home that people are simply not listening. The message comes from the heyday of coach travel, which helped build the UK tourism industry. We want to remind Government what the coach sector has contributed to the economy and evoke childhood and nostalgic memories of coach tours, to try to finally get some concrete action and financial support.”
Speaking about the campaign, Paul Lynn, a director at J&B Travel said: “Our industry needs all the support it can get, and who better to provide that than our insurance broker. We hope this campaign can succeed in having its message heard as, sadly, it appears that the only MPs who feel that our coach industry is dynamic enough to support, are those of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Myself and my colleagues throughout this country thank McCarron Coates for its support.”
Paul Coates added: “Together we can do this and all it will cost an operator is a bit of time, to find the contact details of their MP, and a few stamps. We hope operators will share news of the initiative on social media and help us make the noise that we wish to generate behind our powerful ‘Wish You Could Hear’ message.
Anyone wishing to have cards to send to their local MPs and any other targets, should email [email protected] with their address details and number of cards required, or call 0113 298 3489.