CPT reacts to school closures

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Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Chief Executive Graham Vidler has issued a statement reacting to the Government’s decision to close schools across the UK as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is an understandable decision and one which the Government has made in the best interests of tackling this outbreak,” he said.

“We also need to have one eye on the future and ensure that home to school services that transport 100,000s of children to school each day are able to resume as soon as needed. Home to school transport provides local coach operators across the country with £4.5m of revenue daily which is now under threat.

“The industry is already suffering from cancellation rates of 70% and any further loss of this income would be devastating to operators. The Government needs to commit now to ensuring that local authorities continue to pay coach operators, which are predominantly small family businesses, as if these services were still running, to help maintain short term cash flow.

“Without a guarantee of this critical source of income many operators will struggle to pay staff and keep their businesses running. Many family businesses, sustaining 10,000s of jobs, will simply go under and it will be impossible to resume services when schools return, meaning many families will be forced to find, at short notice, other ways to transport their children to school.”