There is no doubt in my mind that the buses bill presently going through statute is beginning to look a bit clearer and will no doubt be nearly ready by January 31st when it is next to appear to be debated in the House. I am as ever indebted to John Carr the former Chair of the Bus and Coach Forum of CILT who has done an excellent job in collating a really good response on behalf of the Institute.
John has put a huge amount of effort and time into this project as he is also doing with the London Bus Network review requested by the Mayor himself. I was delighted to arrange a really good meeting between John and two excellent chaps from Metroline Bus Company Andy Hunter FCILT and Steve Harris FCILT, this of course is one of the many benefits of being a member of an organisation like CILT, as it gives access to the best of the best be they in the Bus and Coach industry, or indeed the other 8 sections that comprise members of the Logistics and Transport sectors.
The purpose of being in the Institute is amongst other things, to allow a voice to be heard at a time when change is imminent, there is no doubt that the present Buses Bill is the most significant event for the last thirty years and it is imperative that we do all in our power to give the bus industry all the help and support that it needs with legislation that could potentially cause damage to certain sectors if franchising were to become an option.
There is also the potential implication of Local Authorities starting their own Bus Companies up and by so doing put smaller independent operators our of business without any redress to compensation. That is why it is so important that the likes of John and indeed many others make the effort to comment and advise, effective lobbying is essential and it works.
So, we will wait and see what the Ministers will say both on the 31st January and even more interestingly at the Bus Summit being held in London on February 8th which I will be attending along with the great and the good. I will as ever dear reader keep you posted.