North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey and former Finance Minister has supported calls for assistance to be offered to bus and coach tour operators who have seen their business hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
His comments come after meeting with local coach operator Kenny Brogan.
I have been very aware for sometime from correspondence and contact from local coach opeterors of the challenges that they have faced as a result of the covid lockdown.
The NI Assembly recently passed a motion by the Infrastructure Committee calling on the Minister for Infrastructure to bring forward proposals for the formulation of guidance and financial support for these sectors.
My party colleague Michelle McIlveen, Chair of the Assembly Infrastructure Committee alongside DUP Infrastructure Committee member Keith Buchanan, have also been speaking with representatives of the sector and they have also requested a meeting with the DfI Minister.
Like other industries, bus and coach operators have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many cannot access support directed at the leisure sector. They need support beyond regulatory issues which has been offered to date.
Industry representatives are crying out for assistance. Debates over which Minister has sole responsibility miss the point. There is a need for the DfI Minister to engage with the sector, regonise the problem and bring forward proposals to Executive colleagues.