CRISIS: Weather has caused chaos
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has chaired an urgent resilience meeting with bus and coach operators addressing the continuing severe weather conditions.
The meeting, with representatives from National Express, First Group, Go Ahead, Stagecoach and Arriva, took place on Thursday and aimed to ensure all necessary extra services were available to reduce the impacts of severe weather.
Mr McLoughlin said: “The meeting has reassured me that the companies running the UK’s thousands of coach and bus services understand the unprecedented situation we face and are working hard to do whatever is needed to keep the country moving.
“I am delighted to hear that the national coach network is operating normally with no significant disruption.
“Coach operators have also laid on thousands of extra seats to ease the pressure in the worst affected areas, and I was pleased to hear from the industry that there is capacity in the UK’s bus and coach fleet to provide extra services in the case of more widespread or prolonged severe weather.
“We need to make sure that we make full use of the flexibility that is built into the transport network.
“When our railways are hit by this scale of disruption we need to make it as easy as possible for the public to reach their destinations by alternative means.”
At the meeting, the Transport Secretary and industry agreed that the government should establish an early warning system.
The system aims to build upon existing channels of communication between train companies and those running buses and coaches.