Our experts have warned that the coach travel industry could struggle if licence delays are not resolved.

Phil Cutting, said there were currently severe delays at the DVLA when it came to processing licence applications and renewals.

“Some parts of the haulage and coach travel industries are already struggling to recruit drivers which is having a serious impact on the transport systems across the UK. So any delays in the processing of licence applications will just further compound the difficulties these industries face and it’s clear that swift action needs to be taken to overhaul the system.”

Phil said drivers who submitted their licence applications on paper were facing up to a ten-week wait, and that industrial action and social distancing at the DVLA headquarters in Swansea had not helped.

“The coach travel industry has suffered hugely during the pandemic, and as specialist coach insurers, we have heard from many coach and bus operators who have been seeking our help to ensure they are meeting all the requirements of their insurance policy in order to comply with the new post-Covid rules.

“We’ve seen a real surge in passengers who are keen to return to the industry as many people look to explore the UK on staycations and day trips until overseas travel is more accessible.

“But delays in processing licence applications means that potential drivers who have been recruited to meet increased customer demand could face a hold-up in their transition into their new role, and businesses could find they lose the new recruits altogether if they’re not prepared to wait.”

CPT UK – which is the voice of the bus and coach sector across the UK – works with governments and members to make it easier for people to choose to travel by bus or coach, and research shows that over four billion of these journeys are made each year in the UK.

“There is a real interest in coach travel now that the Coronavirus restrictions have eased, and it’s vital that coach companies receive all the help they can get in order to keep up with the demand.”

Bayliss & Cooke joined forces with the Henshalls Group in Newport to create one of the region’s largest independent brokers, and is one of only a handful of brokers in the region to offer Coachline insurance dealing with clients across Staffordshire and the wider Midlands.