Last reviewed 5 May 2022

With fuel prices remaining high in the UK, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to introduce a fuel duty relief package of £260m for coaches, to place the sector on a level footing with the rail industry.

In a letter to the Chancellor, available here, the CPT has asked for the fuel duty paid by coach operators on diesel to be reduced from 52.95p per litre to the 11.14p per litre paid by rail. The letter also outlines the need to support coach operators facing short-term difficulties, with the growing number of services running at a loss threatening the viability of many vital services including home to school and rail replacement.

Arguing this support could help ensure coaches, as one of the greenest forms of transport, continue to connect communities and support essential services and tourism in the long term, the CPT also pointed out that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per passenger on coaches are around 1.5 times lower compared to rail travel.

CPT Head of Policy, Alison Edwards, said: “Coaches are one of the greenest transport options and play a vital role in connecting people with education and employment, as well as supporting tourism. The impact of fuel price rises on operators must be minimised so they can continue to provide sustainable, reliable and vital services.”

To do this, she concluded, it is time the anomaly of coaches paying over 10 times more in fuel duty than rail is corrected.