Coach companies in Essex and Northamptonshire say they won't survive without help from the Government

Coach companies across the region are warning that if the Government doesn't intervene soon, there might not be enough coaches to take children to school in September.

Earlier in the month we reported on the 'Honk for Hope' campaign which saw coach companies, including Lodge Coaches in Essex, take part in a pilgrimage to parliament in protest at the lack of support for travel companies.

More than 500 coaches drove to London to show support for the 'Honk for Hope' campaign Credit: ITV News

Now, with the new academic year looming, the financial state of the industry is a growing source of concern.

At Tendring Travel in Clacton, not one out of the 25 coaches here have left the yard since lockdown on 23rd March. However, unlike bus companies and airlines the coach industry says it's been unsupported and forgotten during the past four months.

The company has secured a government bounce back loan of 50-thousand pounds, but they say it's a drop in the ocean to what they need. The company's already lost around one million pounds in revenue over what would have been its busiest period.

It's just highly frustrating, I'm responsible for everyone, I employ my daughter, my wife, my sister, my best friend, his son, lots of the drivers are good friends, the mechanics, we're a family unit, it's just heartbreaking to see we're just being left to the wayside and there's just no more help out there, the government's seemed to have forgotten our industry.

Mark Bone, Tendring Travel

Despite providing holidays and excursions very few coach companies have been able to access the government grants available to the leisure and hospitality sector.

Roger Ball runs RB Travel in Kettering in Northamptonshire. He's been in the industry since he was 16 years old and says this is the worst he's ever known.

I think this is the hardest time anybody's ever encountered.... and ongoing, it's still very different because there are so many venues that we want to go to and they're not welcoming us, even countries at the moment a lot of operators run a programme of European holidays and they're all cancelling because they daren't go because they might not come back.

Roger Ball, RB Travel

RB Travel in Northamptonshire Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Treasury says it's provided a 'generous and wide-ranging package of support for businesses' such as the furlough scheme, tax deferrals and bounce back loans. However, with 40-thousand jobs at stake nationally, the industry says it's not enough and taking on more debt to pay debt isn't going to be the answer.