Local coach firm joins travel industry protest

Travel companies from around the country call out government over lack of support.

A West Midlands transport firm was one of dozens across the country which joined the recent Honk for Hope protest in London over the government’s lack of financial support for the industry.

Solihull-based LandFlight decided to join the protest after ministers rejected proposals to support small businesses in the travel industry.

Honk for Hope saw an estimated 500 vehicles take part, with LandFlight, which offers bus, coach and chauffeur-drive services, taking down one of its 49-seat Club Class coaches.

The route began on the M4, stopping at various services, before eventually reaching Parliament Square and Tower Bridge.

LandFlight operations general manager Trevor Baker said: “Retail, hospitality and leisure industries have received a one-off grant of up to £25,000 from the government but transport providers don’t quality for this.

“The industry has been heavily impacted during the pandemic and we’ve already seen some big names collapse, including The Specialist Leisure Group, which includes two of the UK’s best-known coach holiday brands. Our bus services have had some support from the Department for Transport and although we’re running at 10 to 15 per cent capacity, it’s better than nothing.

“However, coach services, which is a big part of our business, has been hung out to dry and without the government’s support, many providers won’t make it. We hope this peaceful protest went some way to highlight how valuable our services are and prompts the government to rethink its decision.”

The route was organised in partnership with the Metropolitan Police to make sure the protest received maximum exposure without causing disruption.