A message from Carol Kirkwood
The UK Coach Awards presentation ceremony would have been held on Thursday 30th April. Sadly we have had to cancel the event this year, but we'll be back in 2021. Ceremony host and BBC Weather presenter Carol Kirkwood sent a message:
In the meantime, we're Backing Britain's Coaches - see below.
Statement from the UK Coach Awards regarding Covid-19
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 focusing on 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 they will be resubmitted for the 2021 awards; you will be given the opportunity to modify them if needed. At this time, we will of course, 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.
If you have booked tickets for the 2020 Presentation Ceremony, you will have been contacted regarding carrying your booking over to next or having a refund.
If you booked accommodation in one of the hotels using the booking code, please contact the hotel directly. They are all aware of the situation. The hotels and contact details are:
- Ibis Styles Blackpool Hotel - telephone 01253 752478
- The Imperial Hotel - telephone 01253 754616
- Big Blue Hotel - telephone 01253 336081
- Boulevard Hotel - telephone 01253 336081
New video highlights coach industry challenges
A group of family owned coach operators have got together and produced a video highlighting the challenges facing the industry and aimed at winning support from local decision-makers and MPs. The video is introduced by John Johnson of Johnsons Coach Travel and chairman of the CPT's Coach Commission and also features Kathryn Pulham of Pulhams Coaches, Taf Valley Coaches’ Clive Edwards, Anderson Travel’s Mark Anderson, Kevin Mayne of Maynes of Buckie, Ross Bryans from Bryans of Denny, Martin MacPhail of MacPhails of Salsburgh, and Steve Whiteway, former Managing Director of Epsom Coaches.There are long and a short versions of the video.
Back Britain's Coaches
We're supporting the Confederation of Passenger Transport's Back Britain's Coaches campaign. It aims to build on the successes CPT has had to date in securing support for the coach sector via business wide initiatives. The campaign has two immediate aims:
- The publication of formal government guidance to support the Local Government Association’s view that coach operators should be considered leisure businesses, which would help them to access the Covid-19 business rates and grant schemes.
- Alongside ABTA securing an amendment to the Package Travel Regulations to allow coach operators longer than 14 days to process refunds and to issue refund credit notes as an alternative to cash refunds.
Coaches play a vital role in our economy and society, helping tourists see the sights of the UK, providing accessible holidays and days out and ensuring that important events go ahead without a hitch. When there is an issue with a train service, coaches are called in to help transport people from A to B, whether that is to get them to their destination or between train stations.
Covid-19 has very rapidly caused severe financial difficulties for coach operators, putting the long term viability of the sector at risk. Without access to the financial support available to the rest of the leisure and tourism sector, it will be nigh on impossible for many coach operators to continue trading and to resume services once ‘business as usual’ resumes.
CPT chief executive Graham Vidler said "Once the Covid-19 outbreak is over we will all need to work together to repair the damage done to our local economies. If we want to bring tourists back into our local areas, get people back in our theatres, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, reinstate educational trips and help those who have been forced to spend a considerable length of time in isolation get back out and about, not to mention get people back to school and work, it is vital that coach businesses have the financial support to withstand the current crisis."
In these trying times, the industry must support each other. Six images that can be used on social media have been produced. Use the hashtag #BackBritainsCoaches. Download them and add to your social media and website.
Our Charity Partner
As you may know, earlier in the year we launched a charity partnership at our UK Coach Awards with the Family Holiday Association. We wanted to find a charity which resonated with our partners and where we knew we could make a real difference.
There is such a natural fit between our two organisations to help the charity in a crucial area by doing what we do best - providing coach travel for families in real need of some respite.
Knowing we are an industry with a big heart, we have set ourselves a target this year, to work with our industry colleagues and help provide 200 families with a precious day out at the seaside or tourist attraction.
The partnership got off to a fantastic start at the awards with a brilliant raffle, thanks to the wonderful prizes you all donated. And not only this, but nearly 50 of you responded saying you would be interested in donating coach travel for families which is just wonderful.
The charity team are following up with these responses and we are delighted to say that we have already reached 100 families who will be able to get a precious day out, out of our target of 200.
With your wonderful support and passion, we are sure we can reach 200 families by the end of the year. For more information on the partnership or to let us know how you can help,
Together we can help more families find sunshine through the rain.
What can Coach Operators do for FHA
The Family Holiday Association provide very much needed breaks and respite to families who would otherwise not get these. The Coach Industry is in an ideal position to provide help directly to the families who need it. So please visit our page above which has some suggestions should you wish to help in some way;