Since the start of the pandemic, an unprecedented level of support has been provided to the bus sector. Initially, over £1.5bn in emergency support was provided to operators and Local Transport Authorities through the Coronavirus Bus Service Support Grant.
Recognising the ongoing financial challenges faced by the sector as passengers return, the Government has provided an additional £226.5m in recovery support through the Bus Recovery Grant. This scheme will run between September 2021 and April 2022.
For the coach industry, the Government has announced a range of measures available to support UK businesses, including coach operators, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough), loan schemes and grant funding.
On 25 March 2021, the Government announced a new Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion, available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates. While this funding is allocated at local authorities’ discretion, the Government has issued guidance to councils encouraging them to consider tour operators among the businesses eligible for support. Coach operators should contact their local authorities for more information.
The Department continues to engage with stakeholders from both sectors to understand the challenges faced and support recovery.