Coach operators helped to get thousands of sport and music fans to major events over the first weekend in June such as cup finals at Wembley and Hampden Park, the Epsom Derby, and Beyonce’s London concert, as industrial action once again struck the national rail network.
Ken Savage from Moving People in Accrington said: “It’s only when something like this happens that everybody jumps onto the coaches again and realises their importance. Regardless of whether you’re going to the coast, to a sporting event or on a rail replacement it just shows that the country can’t function without coaches.”
According to the RHA, an estimated 400 coaches transported fans of the two Manchester football clubs to the capital for the cup final, taking thousands of cars off heaving roads. “There’d be 80,000 people traveling down to Wembley all by car and you can imagine the sort of chaos that would cause. It’s obviously a greener option too – certainly far greener than taking 50,000 cars into the capital,” Ken added.
Rob Marriott at Bayliss Executive Travel, based near Dover, said demand for coach travel to the Epsom Derby has been much stronger than usual. Meanwhile Richard Bamber of Runcorn’s Anthony’s Travel which took fans to Wembley and to the Super League Magic Weekend in Newcastle said: “The logistics of these events wouldn’t be possible without coaches – this is where they step in, and it happens time and time again.”
Richard Smith, RHA Managing Director, said: “Rail disruption shows just what a vital job coaches do. Thousands of fans – and indeed holidaymakers off to countless other events and attractions – might have missed out, and businesses at a crucial time of the year would have lost much-needed revenue. This weekend shows once again that coaches can reduce roadside emissions by taking cars off the road, and offer vital support for other businesses.”