CPT Conference Programme 2024

Thursday 18 January

10:00hrs    Networking Breakfast

11:00hrs   Welcome & Introduction

11:10hrs    What will the General Election really mean for public transport?

This Parliament has been one of the most tumultuous in British political history, with three Prime Ministers, five Chancellors, and the nation’s politicians navigating our exit from the European Union, a global pandemic, and war in Ukraine. With a General Election and a possible change of Government on the horizon, our speakers will bring their political insights and  experiences in public transport and infrastructure to share what the industry can expect from the upcoming election, and how we can influence decision makers.

Chair - Catherine De Marco (First Bus), Speaker - Christine Quigley (Grayling), Sonia Khan (Cicero). 

11:45hrs    Where next for the British economy?

The uncertainty surrounding the British economy has had a huge impact on all public services in recent years. As families navigate a cost of living crisis, and businesses get to grips with a new economic reality, many have faced difficult decisions. In this session, our speaker will explore how this economic crisis has played out, who it has affected, and how we can play our role in recovery. 

Chair - Ralph Roberts (McGill's Bus Group), Speaker - David Leeder (Transport Investment Limited). 

12:15hrs  Embracing change – putting customers at the heart of innovation

Bus and coach operators are constantly innovating, as we respond to changes in the economy, technology and across society. As the world moves rapidly around us, it is important to stay ahead of the game and consider how we can continue to show innovation and enterprise to provide for our current and future customers. During her time at BP, Alex Jensen accelerated the shift to low carbon growth across retail service stations and with bus, truck, and van fleet operators. As the Chief Executive of National Express in the UK, she has promised to explore how the business can harness transformation to increase mass mobility, drive the transition to zero emissions, and build trusted partnerships in the community. In this session, Alex will reflect on her experience of driving innovation across different sectors, and share her insights on what the bus and coach industry can learn to ensure we continue to evolve. 

Chair - Jane Cole (Blackpool Transport), Speaker - Alex Jensen (National Express).

12:45hrs    Changing perceptions of public transport

As decision making over public transport moves away from the centre, the role and perceptions of decision makers and the media in our devolved regions becomes ever more important. This session will explore how those perceptions affect the decision-making and landscape in which we operate in different parts of the country.

Our panel of speakers – drawn from across the UK – will reflect on how the decision-making landscape in their part of the country has affected bus services, and how the perceptions of the industry have influenced decision makers there. We will explore how the industry can build on its reputation and use local relationships to strengthen our offer and improve services in every part of the UK.

Chair - Aaron Hill (CPT), Speakers - Alex Robertson (Transport Focus), Aleena Khan (National Infrastructure Commission for Wales), Gordon Dickson (SPT).

13:15hrs     Ministerial address via video from Guy Opperman MP

The Roads and Local Transport Minister will discuss the Government’s approach to bus and coach under Rishi Sunak and Mark Harper’s leadership, and the Department for Transport’s ambitions for 2024.

13:20hrs       Lunch & Networking

14:30hrs    The view from the Opposition Benches

In opposition, Labour has pledged to bring about the biggest overhaul in bus policy in 40 years. As the party continues to lead the polls, we’ll hear more on those ambitions and how a Labour Government would deliver their proposed transformation.

Chair - Graham Vidler (CPT), Speaker - Simon Lightwood MP (The Labour Party)

15:00hrs    Tackling the big challenges – working in partnership

The scale of the economic, ecological and social challenges we face across the country is overwhelming many industries. We cannot solve these challenges alone, but bus and coach operators have always worked in partnership, and will continue to do so for the benefit of our customers. This session will explore some examples where our industry has brought a diverse range of partners together to tackle big challenges, ask how we can apply these lessons elsewhere in our businesses.

Chair - Paul Sainthouse (DawsonGroup), Speakers - Darren Roe (Stagecoach), Tom Cunnington (TFL), Matt Clayson (Readygroup).

15:45hrs    In Conversation: Our priorities for the next UK Government

The final session of the day will see the announcement of CPT’s priorities for the next UK Government, outlining the important policy and practical changes we are seeking for our members after the election, and the difference they will make in practice.

Chair - Alison Edwards (CPT), Speakers - Martin Dean (Go Ahead)

16:15hrs    Closing Remarks

16:20hrs    Event Close

19:00hrs  CPT 50th Anniversary Dinner

Further Speakers to be announced shortly

*Please note - sessions and timings are subject to change - please check back regularly or look out for CPT communications for updates*