One of the great things about chairing the Bus and Coach Forum is the fact that we actually get to make a difference when it comes to the really important things that matter to this great industry. I have seen myself over the last eight years that I have chaired the Forum just what positive and valuable contributions that it has made. From starting at a place of distance for various reasons it has evolved and flourished into something good and of merit.

The number of members is testimony to the engagement that the members and Institute have brought by means of comittment and sheer hard work, and there have been a handful of willing and decent souls who have been bastions of both support but also of delivery. Things do not happen on their own, so they say and that is especially true of the BCF where a constant process of delivery has been at the heart of the delivery strategy.

So, just ho is that achieved what has been done? Well firstly there are almost double the numbers who are either members of the BCF or who are attached to it, just below 4,000 members out of a total UK membership of just under 18,000. This is up significantly on the 2,341 members that we had back in 2010. There are very real reasons for this, and as Agatha Christie once famously said ” Find the motive and you will find the Murderer”. Well delighted to say no murders within the BCF community to my knowledge. But the motive is easy, get people to join by adding value either for individuals (via a range of specific campaigns (TFL, London MD’s, First UK bus via Giles Fearnley, National Express via Tom Stables and Kevin Gayle etc). All of these succeeded because people got engaged and busy and made stuff happen.

The CILT qualifications have been a great success since we designed them and then implemented them via the TAS Partnership, over 300 people have done the 4 day supervisors course many of them from First, again down to the direct support of Giles, the MD First UK Bus. In addition the Busmark club has been a real success and keeps getting bigger and better. Indeed the achievements continue as we now have 19 corporate members back in 2010, we had none. In addition superb work has been done in responding to current legislation and hats off to John Carr the vice chair of the BCF and Ben Colson, a passionate advocate of the bus industry, both courageous and where needed direct and challenging.

The support from the team at Corby has been excellent and in truth none of this success wouod have been possible without the hard work and dedicationof true stalwarts lead by Chris Ruane he has been simply magnificent, I have seen the dedication myself and Chris is a key reason why we have achieved good things. The impeccable Mrs Ana Walkeut has also been outstanding in her support and hard work, not just to this Forum but to the other 30 plus that she has to manage. Busmark continues to grow under Graham Sheens direction and the future looks bright. All in all an excellent innings but with grave and real industry wide threats around the corner it is more important than ever that we work hard to ensure that our voice is heard loud and clear in the corridors of power.