Holidays and International Travel
One of the many frustrating consequences of this pandemic has been the restrictions that have been placed on us for international travel, and it is not just about going on holiday to somewhere hot and sunny.
Many people have contacted me about their frustrations for cancelled holidays in 2020 and for many in 2021. Many people have also talked about their sadness and despair about not being able to meet family and friends resident across the world. People working in the local travel industry have contacted me about the difficulties which they are facing in terms of trying to run their businesses in this current climate. Many pilots living in Bosworth have talked about their concerns for their jobs.
I am also receiving correspondence from constituents who seek a total shut down in international travel for the duration of the pandemic, and for that shut down to last as long as necessary.
As your MP, I have to try to navigate a suitable passage through these often competing demands as I do with so many difficult issues. I sympathise with many people who are affected by the international travel restrictions, but I appreciate that empathy can only go so far for those affected.
I am also minded that this situation is not going to suddenly resolve itself within days and, throughout the pandemic, I have spoken to many constituents about how I must seek to support measures that seek for us as a nation to have the best chance of unlocking domestically, but I wanted to highlight the following work that I am doing to hopefully get some sense of normality back to our lives with regard to travel.
What I am doing to raise this issue at Westminster
I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport and Chancellor about a range of points for the retail travel industry including a specific sector support package for the retail travel sector to assist outlets to recommence their trade. I have been advised that many outlets are only able to sell departures for holidays in 2022/2023.
I also touched on issues associated with sector specific support for your sector in my speech in the Chamber on Wednesday 16 June. You can watch my speech via this weblink: https://www.drlukeevans.org.uk/news/restrictions-vote-16th-june-2021
You can watch my question to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury about a review of Business Rates via this weblink: https://www.drlukeevans.org.uk/news/business-rates-review-question-treasury-secretary.
I have also made additional representations to the Secretary of State for Transport and Ministers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Senior Leaderships of the Competition and Markets Authority and the Civil Aviation Authorities highlighting the difficulties of the travel and holiday industries as well as consumer needs at this time.
I will continue to raise issues about the airline industry and aerospace industry with Ministers. I was particularly involved in this matter last year, at the time of announced restructuring at plants including Rolls Royce local to us in Derby, but if people have particular concerns from a personal standpoint (you work, or have family connections with people who work in the industry) please let me know.
Feedback and Conclusions
I have started to receive some feedback from Ministers and CMA and CAA. Of particular note is this website link http://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/How-the-CAA-can-help/How-to-make a complaint/ which gives you guidance on how to pursue a complaint against an airline if you are struggling to receive a refund which you believe that you are owed.
If you would like sight of the comments that I have received, please let me know and I will respond accordingly. Email email@example.com.
I hope that the response gives you some heart that I will continue to fight for the needs of your sector in Bosworth. So many groups are affected and I wish that circumstances were different, with this wretched virus, a distant memory. There is some progress being made from the accounts that I hear in the media and the statements that I read from Ministers, but these are indeed difficult times. I will continue to do the best I can to pursue people’s concerns.