Buses Moving Forward Together; CPT Initiative Launched

Besides the turmoil of the nations parliament, life it seems goes on regardless, and although slightly overlooked by the nations media. A key initiative was launched yesterday by the Confederation of Passenger Transport. In what I would describe as a major commitment by the UK Bus industry, a range of positive and radical measures have been introduced. Designed to galvanise the UK Bus industry, no surprise that I am 110% behind these proposals. The strategy is called “Moving Forward Together’ and the initiative is described as ‘The industries vision for how to get one billion more journeys taken by bus by 2030”.

The range of commitments made by the CPT membership is impressive, and include the following ; Only purchasing ultra-low or zero emission buses from 2025, introducing discounted ticketing for apprentices and job seekers. It also includes price capped daily and weekly ticketing in urban areas across multiple operators. To aid in the delivery of these promises, CPT are calling on the government to work with the industry to create a national bus strategy (unbelievable to think this has never existed since the days of the National Bus Company!). They have also asked the government to avoid sudden changes to the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) and agree a roadmap with the industry to zero emissions transport. Including continued support for buying ultra-low and zero emission buses.

All of this is in my view fabulous news for the bus industry I have been lobbying for years that this is exactly what we need a joint approach towards tackling congestion and encouraging bus use. In addition there is a compelling case to rejuvenate rural bus services, by reducing car journeys and making the bus product easier to use and more attractive by enabling technology to make the bus a user friendly product. This also helps stimulate the significant socio economic contribution that the industry offers that have only recently been fully evaluated. They are however significant and important.

For me, this launch represents many years of arguing the case for the bus, sadly for years it has fallen on deaf ears at both national and local political levels. Today however, with the ever increasing awareness of deaths caused by toxic emissions based on fossil fuels, along with the crippling effects of increased congestion, the bus has never been better placed to rise to the challenge and be seen and supported as the solution and not the problem. I fully endorse this worthy venture and I know that friends within the Bus policy group at CILT. Along with key advocates from within the Bus and Coach Forum like John Carr, and Andrew Hunter will be as delighted as I am that this happy day has come to pass. Now of course comes the hard part, making it happen and delivering on one billion passenger journeys by 2030. Easy Peasy lemon squeezy….just off to de-cant the Moët and Chandon.Onwards and Upwards.

Written by Austin Birks

September 9, 2019

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