Today's Frustrating Fightback Setback Update.
Tuesday 20th April 2021.
I trust everyone continues to remain safe and well.
Having taken part in yet another trade zoom meeting this morning, I am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
It is with the heaviest of hearts, that I regrettably have to inform you that we are forced to suspend our programme of day excursions with immediate effect until Monday 17th May. This decision has not been taken lightly and is necessary due to a change of government guidance preventing us from trading until the next step of the roadmap. This is not due to rising safety concerns, it is due to government indecision with regards to which sector we fall into.
As a responsible Coach Transport provider, we have previously and will always act with the safety of our customers and staff as a paramount concern.
The latest updated government guidelines only permit “organised” coach travel for a single household or support bubble. This announcement only came about during a recent meeting between our trade association and government officials and has been verbally confirmed by Baroness Vere today. It would appear that different government departments have been previously offering contradictory advice.
Quite infuriatingly, it seems as though different households are still permitted to travel on a train, bus or express coach for leisure purposes and yet you cannot mix on an excursion coach. You could even travel on our vehicle if we were on hire to that express company. This news comes despite the many Covid protocols that we have already installed and 5 excursions that we have already operated all with positive customer feedback received.
However it must be noted that this change of government guidelines comes “beyond the last hour” and causes a bitter blow to our already beleaguered coach touring industry. Sector specific support is still not available and now we face the inability to trade for another 4 weeks without income.
Quite what we have done to deserve this continued frustration, we continue to wonder! We find this government decision to be absolutely ludicrous and the way that our industry continues to be treated beggars belief
Therefore unfortunately we will have to reschedule all excursions up to Monday 17th May in line with these amended guidelines. All affected customers will now be contacted in departure date order and we will discuss their options. We will aim to reschedule as many excursions as possible. Sadly this accumulates to another 520 passengers that we have to now contact and mess about through no fault of our own.
We were not looking to profit from these April/early May excursions but to rebuild confidence in our product and assure you that it is safe to travel onboard our vehicles. Please rest assured that coach travel is safe.
I’m so sorry for any disappointment caused by this decision but we ask for your continued support throughout these unbelievably challenging times.
Keep on keeping the faith.
All will become good again (at some point).
We need you now more than ever before.
Thanks very much
Alan & Paul and rest of the A&P family.