When I first took over the Bus and Coach Forum back in 1066 one of the first things that I did was analyse just who the members actually were so that is what I did , it took me ages but by the time I had finished I knew who they were, what grade of membership they had, and what sector they worked in.
So I split them into 4 categories and they were 1 Bus and Coach employees, 2 Local Authority employees, 3 Consultants and 4 Suppliers. Ironically such was the huge dis connect between the bus and coach sector and CILT (mostly because a lot of people just like me had walked away) the biggest representative group were from Local Authorities. Frankly I was somewhat appalled as it clearly was not really the Bus and Coach Forum as there were not that many people from the Industry in the club anymore.
Today the situation is very different and we have witnessed a renaissance in the Bus and Coach Industry with many new members, corporate memberships (now at 17 compared to nil 2 years ago) 33 members of Busmark representing almost 13,000 vehicles which is one-third of the entire UK bus and coach fleet as well as new qualifications and scores of bus and coach events across the UK. It has also attracted a lot of new young managers who are building a new momentum of their own within CILT.
So while great things have been achieved it is now time to see how CILT can once again make itself appealing to those employed by Local Authorities, especially as the Buses Bill offers more powers to LA`s to operate services in certain circumstances. This also brings a whole new raft of new options as there are many employed in Transport planning which was once at the heart of the Institute`s education and training agenda.
So,it is really encouraging that Pete Bond at Centro as well as Chris Perry are wanting to be members and engaged, for me it would be excellent personally to get Centro I have worked with Centro for over 30 years in different capacities, and if we get domino to fall hopefully we can get a lot of the others to follow. We therefore need a campaign to be created with different strategies to attract members and Authorities to realize the value of being a member. But, as for me a worthy challenge ahead that I look forward to taking on.
Onward and Upwards dear reader.