January Blues… Always The Same, Or Maybe Not

It is a funny old time of year is it not,that strange twilight zone between the festive season and the return to work. Time almost seems to stand still as the mind and body wrestle with that post party time off and the reality of getting back to the grind of daily life. To be fair I think most people seem to just roll their sleeves up and get on with it, after all what choices do you have. You either go back or you do not, and with bills and mortgages and everyday stuff the green backs still need to roll in.

Interestingly in my case it is of course very different, my return to “work” was about having chemotherapy and hoping that my white blood cell count would be high enough to allow me to have the treatment, a very different challenge of course but a challenge all the same. As it happened my white blood cell count was quite frankly all over the shop, and that required only one course of treatment, namely a 7 day series of injections that need to be injected into the stomach every day at the same time. Which does not sound pleasant but to be honest you just crack on with it after all the alternative is not worth contemplating.

Interestingly what was also fascinating to me as we turned the page of a new year was the optimism that I felt as the new decade arrived. The reason why I personally felt so vibrant and optimistic was because for me the tide has I believe turned when it comes to the future of the UK Bus and Coach Industry. I think that by nature I have always been an optimist it is just my natural disposition and when I look back and reflect on the state of the UK Bus industry after the last four decades I have never felt so positive about the future for our great industry. Why is that I hear you ask? Or indeed not!

Simple really a complete sea change in the political and social arena about the role of the Bus, and the huge part that it should rightfully play in tackling congestion, air quality, and social and economic improvement that the humble bus can rightly and properly deliver and n real terms at virtually no cost. It simply requires a realisation of the simplicity of the solution and a proactive infrastructure to make the bus work. For me and many others we have hoped and worked on the principle that one day after decades of decline, the promised land would return and the bus would be given the chance that we knew the industry would deliver.

I genuinely believe that this will be that year a quick look around the massive sea change in major Cities and towns who are now embracing car reduction, clear air zones, park and ride, bus priority. And of course new green buses to deliver on EU promises and bus Companies embracing a different thinking around fares, routes, and frequencies, as vital as the political will to allow the bus back into the fold. So, as ever I remain truly uplifted and renewed for the future of the UK Bus industry. So don’t be shy come along and embrace the revolution.

Written by Austin Birks

January 13, 2020

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