Experts from a specialist bus, coach and minibus insurance team have welcomed news that private hire trips can now operate more normally.

With the easing of the lockdown rules today (Monday May 17), operators are now able to carry multiple household groups rather than single households or support bubbles as before.

And Phil Cutting, from Coachline, said the move was very welcome news for an industry that had suffered hugely during the pandemic.

“During the lockdown, private hire coach trips in England were only permitted for a private group of one household or one support bubble. Now, at last, the industry can look forward to working towards a new normal and to running trips and tours for greater numbers of passengers.

“This is a long-awaited step on the road to recovery, and 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 rules.”

Phil said the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT UK) had said the Covid rules had led to a serious impact on excursions and private hire trips.

They had believed Covid-secure coach trips were as safe – or in some cases – safer than the alternative of passengers using public transport to reach their destination, but they had no alternative but to comply with the lockdown restrictions.

“We believe that passengers will be keen to return to the industry over the summer as many people look to explore the UK on staycations and day trips until overseas travel is more accessible,” said Phil.

“This can only be good news for an industry that has seen unprecedented hardship during Covid-19, and we’re looking forward to working with our bus, coach and minibus clients to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible throughout their journeys.”

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.

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.