Call To Arms; Rally round The United Bus Flag

So, there I was minding my own business with one casual lazy eye on Face Ache, when inbetween the white noise and utter nonesense I came across something of real value. It was an open letter co-authored by several people who I hold in high regard both personally and professionally. The open letter was inspired by a man who in my opinion has been one of the statesmen of the Industry. That man is David Martin, formally CEO of Arriva , funnily enough one of the first ever awards that uTrack won was presented to me by David Martin and Sir Moir Lockheed. Two giants of the Industry who left deep footprints on the UK Bus industry.

So when people like David Martin speak, and make observations then you need to listen, and that is what these four people have done. So just who are these four? Well first on the list is of course David Martin, next is award winning marketeer Chloe Leech O’Connol, and two well known buccaneers of the new generation of bus leaders, Alex Hornby and Martjin Gilbert. The open letter is basically a call to arms to seek to unify the bus industry at a time where both the opportunity and the threat to the industry is at its highest level.

The concept is simple enough, for reasons never really understood there has never really been a unified collective voice to argue the case for the bus. Previously the CPT played a role in the reasonable voice of the Industry. In addition the Bus and Coach Forum of CILT also played a role as an independent voice of reason, the big five have always had a voice but more often than not in isolation. Album members have played a noble part but the organisation is not really designed for that purpose. So, now maybe more than ever before the time is right.

What I found quite interesting was that several comments that were posted on Facebook were actually rather questioning suggesting that politics was too corrupt and that such efforts would not really make a difference. I beg to differ if honest, doing nothing is not an option, there is nothing to lose and frankly everything to gain in my opinion. Apathy is a silent assassin, speak up before it is too late. In contrast the comments on Linkdin in reply to Alex’s post were positive and supportive, they were also representative from both operators and suppliers alike. And here I believe there is a hidden army of support from all those whose livelihoods depend on the future prosperity of the bus industry. After all uTrack only work with the Bus and Coach industries, if they go, then we go, and the same applies to everyone else who makes a living out of this great but under valued and unheralded Industry.

So, if you have not seen the letter yet make an effort to track it down, and more importantly get behind it offer your support and find out what you and your Company can do be part of this crusade. If we do not help ourselves then we cannot expect anybody else, can we. Do not take the view that someone else will do it as they probably will not, this time it is time for personal and collective responsibility. The clock is ticking time to stand up and be counted, before it is too late.

Written by Austin Birks

May 10, 2019

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