I recently chaired the Bus and Coach Forum at an event held in the offices of Nottingham City Transport, the best bus Company in the United Kingdom. Why do I say that because they have won that worthy accolade twice in the last three years. To be honest it is a great Company run by great people and guess what the formulae works.
The meeting was our biggest yet with 14 people travelling the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to gather and work through a really busy day, with no fewer than 10 items on the agenda. As ever it was a really good thought provoking meeting with a fantastic selection of proven and motivated people who all share the same passion for promoting the cause of the bus and coach industry.
What was especially interesting about this meeting was the fact that there was a real and genuine recognition that the bus and coach industry are actually facing some very real and industry threatening issues. They are coming from varied directions but in real terms if we do not act swiftly and professionally then we could face the same fate as the dodo and vanish of the face of the earth.
This is not an over reaction, far from it, it is actually facing up to the reality of todays world. For example what will Brexit really mean to the bus and coach industry can it possibly trigger a complete reform of the legal guidelines that govern the working day.? Further more what of the rise of the so called destructive technologies. Self driving vehicles, massive changes in peoples behaviour and attitude in a disposable world. Life is about uber, Amazon and drones. Where and how does the bus and coach still fit in this complex jigsaw?
And let us not forget about the implications of Air Quality and the options of fines fore high polluting vehicles as some buses and coaches still are. Although the industry has done a lot has it done enough and can Companies afford fines and sanctions. These lofty and challenging issue are what we are today wrestling with.
Luckily we have some really great people and minds on board which gives me great confidence that we can and shall ensure that we at the table. CILT has done a great job in ensuring we are well placed to influence government planning and actions. This is why we exist and I am delighted that we at the heart of this dialogue.
Rest assured that we will ensure that we can represent this noble industry to the best of our collective ability as in my view we have a moral responsibility to ensure that those who are the most vulnerable in society are protected. And a life without access is no life at all.