Well here we are again, it is that time of year again, all of Santa’s little helpers have served time on the naughty step and those who have been good are on their way to the rather splendid Copthorne Tara Hotel in the Royal borough of Kensington. To no doubt enjoy the delights of a rather fine traditional Christmas dinner, along with the crackers and party poppers to celebrate not just the birth of the baby Jesus, but to be reflect on another year gone and the  events of the 99 th year of the Chartered Institute Of Logistics And Transport.

For me It has certainly been a busy year with both the Bus and Coach Forum, and the Safety and Logistics Forum. The Bus and Coach year has focused on policy this year as momentous events unfold to both challenge and possibly enrich the case for the bus against the joint ills of ever worsening congestion, and the implementation of clean air zones and the effects on the bus industry. Policy supreme John Carr has done an excellent job over the last couple of years in particular. Representing the forum and Institute at the highest levels, often delivering excellent and learned responses against nigh on impossible timelines. But, John just gets on and delivers, year in year out.

A most welcome contribution this year has been the excellent work done by John and members of the Policy and Proceedure  Committee, especially with regard to issues like giving evidence to the transport Select Committee. And Nick Richardson did a great job on behalf of PCC in the House of Commons. It would be remiss of me if I did not at that point pay rightful homage to one man who has been the Chair of PCC for the last ten years. Jolyon Drury has been a tour de force for the Institute and an excellent, articulate, and passionate advocate for all transport disciplines for the last decade. His individual contribution has been remarkable, I first worked with him when we were doing some work about the driver shortage crises, he was due to give evidence to a Select Committee and we spent a most enjoyable afternoon putting together a case for suggestions to improve recruitment and retention for both the logistics and freight and bus and Coach industries. The Institute owes Jolyon a debt of thanks and he will be sorely missed but fondly remembered for his contribution.

Another highlight for me from this busy year, was Busmark being shortlisted in the New Horizons category of the UK Bus Awards, whilst we did not win the award it was an achievement in its own right to get so far, in what are hotly fought over shortlists. Indeed it is correct to thank Graham Sheen who has been the main man at Busmark for the last two years for his effort and support in developing Busmark. Graham moves onto a new role within CILT shortly but again another worthy contributor to the cause.

This year also saw CILT sponsoring the UK Bus and Coach Awards for a further three years where we will be the sponsor for the Young Manager award. I was delighted when CILT agreed to sign up for this as it  is crucial that CILT remain high on the radar of the Industry. The efforts of Chris Ruane over the last nine years have seen the Bus and Coach sector move from being a disenfranchised group on the very edge of engagement with CILT, to become a Forum with one of the highest memberships of all the sectors, and with a thriving and energetic committee behind it for 2019 so,it can only go in one direction.

The year also saw an excellent conference organised by Dean Clamp, Chair of the Safety and Logistics Forum. The team which is small in number but high on quality, care of the Herculean efforts of the one and only Mrs Anne Walker, hosted an excellent conference covering the theme of Driver Well Being. It was very well attended and the feedback was excellent. A really high quality event with exceptional speakers and much thought provoking debate. This Forum has consisatantly delivered ever since 2013 when it was established to promote the theme of Safety across the Logistics Industry. However, it has been much more influential and touched nearly all Transport disciplines.

Finally, as the jolly good Fellows meet it is with a sense of anticipation and excitement that we enter 2019 and celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of an Institute that has achieved much over the course of ten decades. It has risen to establish itself a rightly earned reputation as an honest broker for the transport and Logistics industries it represents. Indeed this year has seen CILT play a key part in the Brexit negotiations offering expert views at the highest levels of Government. Indeed credit for this is due to Kevin Richardson the CEO who has been instrumental in giving the Institute the gravitas and platform to be at the heart of policy direction and negotiation. So, it is with a sense of optimism and enthusiasm that we enter a year of celebration after 100 years not out, and while quite rightly we celebrate our past, more importantly we plan for the future. Where I predict in the next few years we will double our membership base and become an even more important part of the very fabric of the Logistics and Freight industries and all the transport modes that CILT professionally and nobly represents. now where is my party popper?


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