February 03 2021

New CPT President Jane Cole writes about what she hopes to achieve over the next year.

The Presidential role in CPT has been unique to the person doing the job at the time.

I have big boots to fill and I see my purpose and role evolving around the needs and expectations of members. I want to be the conduit between the members and the CPT team and be actively involved in the council and committee’s structure.

I intend to listen and learn about the challenges operators are facing and be seen to be supporting the CPT Council in urging Government to provide funding for a pro coach and bus transport campaign this year.

We need to get customers back travelling on buses and coaches during 2021. The CPT have taken the first step in providing a forum for collaboration and to get government listening through the very successful conference that was held in January 2021.

Government likes to have a clear voice from its stakeholders and it has valued this from CPT throughout the turbulent year of 2020. At the CPT conference Baroness Vere told us all that recently she has spent more time talking with Graham Vidler than her husband!

I do think it is unfair to blame CPT for the lack of support from the UK Government – many other sectors as well as the Coach Industry have not received support and CPT are still trying to convince Government to change their thinking. We should not judge CPT on this one issue but remember the great work that they have done throughout 2020 to keep members up to date and provide expert advice on a range of issues. We have also had the recent welcome news that the UK Government has finally indicated that it believes coach operators should be eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant in England, something CPT has been calling for.

For 2021 I am keen to get involved in working with CPT to agree a longer term strategy for the organisation focusing on what members want to see CPT deliver over the next 2-3 years. I am looking forward to working with the CPT Council and formulating strategies for getting customers back on transport, cutting congestion and developing frameworks for closer industry working with Government, City Councils, Local Authorities and Tourism.

It is going to be tough year for everyone and I intend to get stuck in and do more than my bit to leave a legacy that I, CPT and more importantly members can be proud of.