Major coach and bus industry events cancelled

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BDoY and the UK Coach Awards are among many events and shows cancelled following Government announcements about mass gatherings

The National Final of the UK Bus Driver of the Year (BDoY) competition which was due to take place in Blackpool on 6 September has been cancelled.

Members of the BDoY Council reluctantly made the decision in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak and the challenges being faced by the industry.

Nevertheless, the Council says it is determined that the event will go ahead in 2021 and reassures operators that entry fees for 2020 will be reimbursed.

Meanwhile, the UK Coach Awards has issued a statement regarding the cancellation of that event: “We have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel this year’s awards event. The calamitous effect of COVID-19 on our industry, initially made the possibility of our usual industry gathering unviable, and latterly inappropriate at a time when so many of our colleagues are facing great challenges and keeping their customers, employees and loved ones safe.

“We had been working towards bringing you an alternative virtual event, which we hoped would still allow us to celebrate all your great work and provide some relief during these difficult times. However, the rapid onset of all the issues associated with COVID-19 has now made this inappropriate.

“We are cancelling, not postponing and will keep all entries that were submitted this year, then in the Autumn give you the opportunity to modify them if you wish, when they will be resubmitted for the 2021 Awards. We will also welcome new entries for 2021.

“We remain steadfast in our support of the whole coach industry, and our thoughts are with you all during these extremely challenging times.

Additional changes are:

    • The Album Blackpool Conference has been postponed until 2021
    • The Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC, Birmingham is cancelled
    • The IRTE Skills Challenge testing week has been moved to 19-23 October 2020 with the winners’ awards reception now taking place in November. Entries will re-open from June until September.

Enthusiast events are also being cancelled, with Stagecoach West’s Managing Director Rupert Cox confirming that the new ‘Buses through the ages’ event in Cheltenham will now be postponed, with the hope of finding a new date in the autumn.

Amersham & District Motorbus Society Dorking running day is also postponed, Bournemouth bus rally is cancelled, Cardiff Transport Preservation Group Trust Spring heritage running day is cancelled, Chippenham Bus Rally is postponed, Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust’s Open Sundays in April and May are cancelled, Grettons Coaches open day is cancelled, Oxford Bus Museum’s twilight running event is cancelled, Penzance running day is cancelled, South East Bus Festival is cancelled, Stagecoach North West Carlisle open day is cancelled, Wythall Transport Museum’s Easter riding days are cancelled.

The Isle of Wight Bus Museum, Oxford Bus Museum and the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum will remain closed until further notice.