I was fortunate enough yesterday to attend a committee meeting of the Bus and Coach Forum of CILT, which was held at the excellent offices of one of the very best of the UKs Bus Companies none other than Reading Buses.

I would like to thank Martjin Gilbert the CEO for allowing us the use of the excellent facilities as well as Delores and Tony for looking after us all so well. The catering was outstanding so many thanks to all concerned.

The meeting itself was the biggest that we have ever held with 14 people attending from across the UK. The meeting itself was really good and we covered a load of really good stuff, from recruitment initiatives all the way through to Busmark and corporate membership.

However the biggest and most hotly debated issue was quiet rightly the impending legislation of the Bus Services Bill. We are really lucky to have two experts on the committee with John Carr and Ben Colson, they gave us the very latest progress on the bill and the very real implications of what it might mean for those who actually operate bus services in the UK.

This is without doubt the most important piece of legislation affecting the UK Bus industry for the last 31 years since Mrs Thatcher deregulated the UK Bus industry. It could have dramatic and far- reaching consequences depending on what the bill finally decrees. CILT via John and others have been very robust on making sure that we have a real and powerful impact on the decision makers at Whitehall who will make the final decision.

After all this is exactly why we have a Bus and Coach Forum, to ensure that we add our professional and independent voice to the key issues that affect our industry. So my thanks as always to all those who joined us at the meeting and I look forward to the next one in May.