'Honk for Hope': Cumbrian coach operator heads to London as part of national protest

200720 - Honk for Hope Reays Coaches - ITV Border
Credit: ITV Border

Coach operators from Cumbria are taking part in a national protest in London.

500 empty vehicles from around the country descended on London to take part, with Reays Coaches from Wigton among the companies involved.

Credit: ITV News

Coach companies want to raise awareness of the struggles their industry is facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The industry is reporting a 97% drop in business and fear mass redundancies if no government help is provided.

Organisers argue that because they're heavily relied upon for things such as rail replacement services, the government should be doing more to help through this difficult time.

Their plea for financial support was rejected last week by ministers, who say there has already been a generous package for businesses during the pandemic, and that no more funding is available.

However, the coach industry is not eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Coach firms are calling for vehicle payment holidays, flexible furlough and support towards the cost of coaches. They are also calling for the government for the government to encourage people to begin using coach travel again.

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