Ms. Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s First Minister has announced a package for bus and coach operators at the end of October providing cash payments per vehicle. Estimated to cost £19 million the financial package will also include Taxi operators.
Operators claiming the payment will have to meet certain criteria, financial and other wise. Infrastructure Minister, Nicola Mellon hopes that this payment and other assistance offered by the Executive earlier, will allow operators hang on and be ready to trade when the virus has finally abated. Already operators in the North have had their fees to renew their operator licences waived. It is hoped that the scheme will be open from mid-November for companies to make applications. In money terms, the payment will be £8,000 for the first vehicle and £4,450 for each subsequent vehicle to a maximum of £100,000 per company. Operators in the Republic of Ireland and other parts of the UK will look at this direct payment with envy and will likely seek a similar scheme with a specific guaranteed amount per vehicle be introduced for them.