The visit yesterday (Thursday) included a coach ride with Mason’s customers, a meet and greet with the Masons team and a roundtable discussion on how to encourage more coach travel both as the country exits the pandemic and for the longer term alongside Masons, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), Buckingham MP Greg Smith and Visit Buckinghamshire.
The minister was also shown the practical challenges of deploying wheelchair lifts where there is insufficient roadside space and heard directly from customers about how the accessible, affordable, and inclusive nature of coach travel ensures they can see family and friends and enjoy a day out.
Director of Business Operations at Masons Candice Mason said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Baroness Vere to Masons today. She was able to hear directly from our customers about how much they enjoy travelling with us to places and attractions locally and further afield.
“Many of our customers are keen to get out and travel but they need the confidence to do so. It’s crucial that the Government works with the industry to provide this and actively encourage customers to return as we complete the unlocking roadmap.”
CPT’s Head of External Relations Tom Bartošák-Harlow attended on behalf of CPT, he said: “I’m delighted CPT was able to work with Masons to arrange this visit which was an opportunity for the minister to hear about the value of coach travel from customers and those promoting places and attractions across Buckinghamshire.
“We know that where coach friendly polices are implemented an increase in visitor numbers follows, helping grow the local economy without the problems of worsening air quality and congestion from increased car journeys.
"Our message to the minister was to work with the industry to back a return to coach travel and deliver coach friendly policies across the country like those we have recently seen in Blackpool.”
Buckingham MP Greg Smith added: "I was delighted to welcome Transport Minister Baroness Vere to visit Masons Minibus and Coach Hire Ltd to hear how the UK Government can help back Britain's coaches as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I have regularly raised the plight of the coach industry during the Covid-19 pandemic and supported local firms."