Stagecoach praises government funding amid reports of 85 per cent sales decline
A nationwide bus company has praised “welcome recognition” of the transport sector’s importance following government funding.
Stagecoach has responded to yesterday’s announcement from the Department of Transport that a £167m fund will be allocated to cover losses and to keep services going through the pandemic.
Stagecoach reported today that commercial sales at local regional bus operating companies are now at around 15 per cent of “normal” levels.
The company also said that vehicle mileage at those locations is now at around 50 per cent of “normal” levels with plans to reduce that closer to 40 per cent over the next week.
In yesterday’s statement, transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our buses are a lifeline for people who need to travel for work or to buy food – including our emergency services and NHS staff – and it’s absolutely vital we do all we can to keep the sector running.
“This multi-million-pound investment will protect crucial local transport links across England, bolstering the sector and minimising disruption for passengers in the long term.”
Stagecoach also reported today that it has furloughed 55 per cent of its staff, and that it will be suspending all services of its Megabus coaches.
Martin Griffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach, commented: “I am proud of the tremendous efforts and sacrifices of our people and the country’s healthcare workers during such a challenging and uncertain time.
“We are continuing to work hard to ensure Stagecoach comes through this difficult period well placed for the significant long-term opportunities that we still see for public transport.
“We would like to thank the respective governments and our local authority partners for their support through this very challenging period.
“It is welcome recognition of the importance of maintaining bus services at this time, and it will enable key workers to continue to travel to and from work, as well as ensuring communities can still access food, medical care and other essential services.”
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