I remember years ago during the seventies when I was a teenager, there was a particular song that snuck into my brain, the modern day parlance I believe is an ear worm. The particular song was called The Year Of The Cat by Al Stewart, to be fair it is a great song and it stands the test of time. Now as ever this has nothing to do with buses, obviously like most of my blog links, it has a tenuous connection. Obviously it is no longer the year of the cat ( although it might be in the Chinese New Year), however, it has the unique potential to be the actual year of the Bus.
So, why should this year be the year of the Bus.? Well it is one of the strange paradoxes really that somehow it sees all the key political parties realise that the bus may actually be the solution to the twin evils of congestion and toxic fumes. The Conservatives have stated that they will invest in the Bus industry, and ironically the Labour Party, have also decreed that a new bus strategy is needed even if it means renationalising the UK Bus industry, and the Greens and Liberal Democrat’s have also pinned their colours to the Bus mast, although they have now disappeared from view following the Tory landslide in the recent General Election.
So, it is therefore absolutely vital that the industry step up and meet this challenge while the mood music is playing the sympathetic tune, if we do not support this momentum then we will not get a second chance. And without putting too fine a point on it, we are facing a real crises year on year as patronage declines outside of London and people’s changing habits of more sedentary lifestyles coupled with an Amazon click. And there it is everything delivered to your door as you recline playing on your phone and binge watching The Mandolorian on Disney or Netflix.
So, it is vital that the industry and the trade bodies instigate and lead on this agenda as a matter of urgency, and it is very heartening to see that key industry players are already pushing the agenda and getting some real commitments from both national and in certain parts of the UK. The charge is being lead by CILT and CPT, and thee are some amazing people working hard to make this work, as for me I will do all that I can to enable this most worthy solution. As ever I will keep you posted my dear chums.