‘Wish You Could Hear’ campaign gains momentum in coach sector

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A campaign launched in support of UK coach operators by specialist coach and bus insurance broker McCarron Coates is gaining momentum, as it continues to send the message of ‘Wish You Could Hear’ to the government.
Jane Cole, Managing Director of Blackpool Transport and the new president of the NW Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, and who also takes over as President of the Confederation of Passenger Transport in the New Year, has now added her support to the campaign.

Jane and her colleague James Carney, Finance and Commercial Director of Blackpool Transport, staged a photo-call with Jill and Mary Walton, of Walton Coaches, based in Freckleton near Blackpool, in front of Blackpool’s iconic Tower to help raise the profile of the ‘Wish You Could Hear’ campaign.

They posed with the retro postcard which McCarron Coates has devised as a lobbying mechanism, as part of its calls for more financial support for an industry more decimated by the pandemic than most. Featuring a coach in coach tourism’s heyday, the postcard also carries an emotive message of: ‘Having a truly torrid time. Black clouds ever-present. Coach sector is beached. Vehicles laid up, family businesses in ruins, finance agreements on off-the-road coaches being enforced. Wish MPs would shout out that the coach sector matters – to tourism, leisure and education. It matters to all destinations, attractions, theatres, schools and community groups. To people of all ages. Probably won’t be back next year.’

The postcard is available in both hard and electronic formats, for sending to MPs and influencers able to bring pressure to bear on the government. The electronic format was developed at the request of VisitBlackpool, which will encourage hoteliers and other tourism businesses in the resort to lobby on the coach sector’s behalf. The McCarron Coates activity is providing support to the coach sector’s own ‘Honk for Hope’ campaign and Honk for Hope organisers are also encouraging use of the postcards.

‘Wish You Could Hear’ launched with a photo call with family firm J&B Travel Ltd, of Stanningley, Leeds, which has suffered devastating impacts during the pandemic. The campaign has since earned praise from many coach operators across the country.

Speaking in support of ‘Wish You Could Hear’, Jane Cole said: “We are delighted to support this campaign, as coach operators need urgent assistance. 2020 has been devastating for the coach sector, with many family firms having already closed down. We must save a sector on which so many of us rely, whether it is to get our children to school, to provide us with leisure and holiday options, or to transport us to sports matches. Coach operators have been the forgotten victims of the pandemic and that needs to change.”

McCarron Coates Director Paul Coates commented: “We thank Blackpool Transport and Jane Cole personally for their support. With the backing of influential industry figures like Jane, we hope more operators will make use of our postcard and help the industry to be heard.”

Fellow Director, Ian McCarron, added: “We have had so much positive feedback that we are certain we can make a difference. Sending a card to an MP is so easy to do and enhances the chance of gaining additional financial support for the coach sector’s passionate operators.”

Anyone wishing to get involved is advised to contact [email protected] or call 0113 298 3489.

Blackpool Transport MD and soon-to-be CPT President Jane Cole has lent her support to the Wish You Could Hear campaign led by McCarron Coates.