February 04 2022

In this week’s blog post new CPT President Ralph Roberts writes about what he hopes to achieve over the next 12 months.

Firstly, I would like to give thanks to the outgoing President, Jane Cole of Blackpool Transport, for her stewardship of CPT over the last year – much has been achieved and I plan to continue that progress.

The primary role of the President is to chair national Council meetings. These meetings review all of the organisation’s activities, decide on the strategic direction and set the tone of what we do as a collective. Additionally, the President is a figurehead who brings a bus and coach operator’s perspective to the excellent strategic work of the exec team.

There are some hugely important issues facing the industry in every corner of the UK. The most immediate one is how we transition from the midst of pandemic funding support to a world where we rely on the revenue from trips made on our fleets. This is a delicate balance, because the bus industry in the UK has existed with relatively little outside support, and it is clear that Governments want to return to this model. At the same time, we know that we provide an essential public service that hits local communities hard when it cannot be sustained. I will work hard to understand member’s concerns and to press the case for our industry at all levels.

This problem isn’t new though. The bus industry has seen productivity losses of around 25% in the last two decades and I plan to highlight the job to be done at local, regional and national government level to let buses do their job without being destroyed by congestion and reduced demand. If BSIPs are funded correctly, we can undo decades of damage to bus networks and remove the need for direct subsidy. More importantly, it will indeed level up communities and help save the planet from the worst of the damage being done by car and van emissions.

As the country adapts to a new reality of staff shortages in just about every business sector, the bus and coach industry must compete ever harder to win the trust of those looking for work. The bus and coach industry is a fantastic place to build a lifelong career in secure employment. There is a great team spirit at all levels with the freedom to be an individual – rare these days. I will be doing all I can to assist in this effort and look forward to hearing the regional issues around the country.

I want to be available to all members so if you wish to make contact, please do so via my social feeds or email me at MD@mcgillsbuses.co.uk