UK Bus & Coach Conference 2023

*Click on the highlighted session titles to view full details*

Day 1 ~ Thursday 30 March

Host: Ralph Roberts, CPT President 

09:30hrs       Refreshments including networking & Supplier Exhibition 

10:45hrs       Official opening & welcome 

10:50hrs        Session 1 - Keynote: Welcome from Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill CBE

Join UK transport leader and bus enthusiast Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill CBE - former Deputy Director UK Bus for FirstGroup, Commissioner for Transport for London and now Chair of Network Rail - for the official opening of the UK Bus and Coach Conference 2023.

11:10hrs        Session 2 - Keynote: A view from Government

Buses and Roads Minister Richard Holden MP provides an update on the Government’s work in the bus and coach sector. The keynote will be followed by a Q&A.

11:40hrs        Session 3 - Regulatory Reform: What’s Best for Bus Users?

Across the UK, recent legislation has simplified or made possible introduction of franchising or municipal operation. Numerous authorities are considering these options as alternatives to partnerships. Join our panel of industry leaders as we discuss the only question which really matters: how best to deliver services that meet the needs and expectations of our customers?

Speakers: Robert Jack, Passenger Transport; David Astill, Nottingham City  Transport; David Sidebottom, Transport Focus; Paul Lynch, Stagecoach; Tim Gaston, National Transport Authority of Ireland.

12:25hrs        Session 4 - How much bus is enough?

The economic, social and environmental benefits of bus services are clear. But as rising costs, low levels of concessionary travel and reducing public expenditure combine to force service reductions, we ask what action is needed to specify and deliver a minimum level of bus service for different communities.

Speakers: Catherine DeMarco, First Bus; Brad Taylor, CPRE; Gideon Salutin, Social Market Foundation; Alistair Hands, Arriva.

13:00hrs        Lunch including networking & Supplier Exhibition

14:15hrs        Session 5 - The road to zero emission: decarbonising buses everywhere

With Government likely to set an end date for the sale of diesel buses in less than a decade, how do we make the transition achievable in rural areas and for SMEs? Our panel will discuss the challenges ahead and how, working with government and other stakeholders, we can plan a fully zero emission bus fleet.

Speakers: Tim Griffen, Zemo Partnership; Bradley Fox, EV Fleet; Robert Best, Wrightbus; Paul Turner, Transdev, Louis Swindell, Rock Road.

15:15hrs         Session 6 - Coach and the city

Coach tourism is back, with more and more people attracted by the affordability, sustainability and quality of coach travel. But coach tourism depends on accessible destinations which welcome passengers and understand the critical role the industry plays for tourism, air quality and economic growth. Our panel will discuss good practice for the coach friendly city, considering the role of coach in local transport and tourism strategies, and how we tackling the key issue of squaring net zero targets and vehicle restrictions against accessibility.

Speakers: Louise Webster, Acklams; 

16:00hrs        Session 7 - Navigating coach accessibility  

Since 2020, the coach sector has dealt with a crippling pandemic while also facing the enormous challenge of transforming its fleet’s accessibility.  With a pragmatic medium-term solution in place and a review of the Regulations pending, we ask whether PSVAR is the right approach for coach.  Should all coaches be in scope?  Is it the technical solutions to accessing high-floor vehicles that are wrong?

Speakers: John Birtwistle, First Bus; Ian Tetley, Tetley's Motor Services Limited; Will Bee, Chair at DPTAC Local Travel Working Group; Yann Holzapfel, Department of Transport; Julie Hartley, Irizar UK.

16:45hrs        Closing Remarks - Ralph Roberts, CPT President 

19:00hrs        CPT Annual Dinner 2023 

Day 2 ~ Friday 31 March 

Host: Graham Vidler, CPT Chief Executive    

09:00hrs         Refreshments including networking & Supplier Exhibition 

09:30hrs         Opening & welcome 

09:40hrs          Keynote: If Labour was in the driving seat

Join Shadow Bus Minister, Simon Lightwood MP, to officially open day two of the 2023 CPT conference. Hear his thoughts on what a Labour Government could bring to the sector.

10:00hrs          Session 2 - This industry needs drivers

Recruiting and retaining more bus and coach drivers is a burning issue for our members. Our panel of experts will update on industry and Government progress to tackle these crippling shortages and speed up recruitment. We’ll also consider what more can be done to keep the people we have got, explore the question of pay and ask how we can become truly inclusive.

Speakers: Keith McNally, CPT UK; Dal Kalirai, National Express; Matt Barnes, Barnes Coaches; Jessica Matthew, Department for Transport; Martin Dean, Go Ahead.

10:45hrs           Session 3 - The road to zero emission: what next for coaches?

CPT’s Zero Emission Coach Taskforce (ZECT) has shown the path to zero emission coaches is far from clear. Join ZECT Chair, Ian Luckett and a member of the DfT’s local transport team to hear what the Government expects from industry – operators, manufacturers, the supply chain and beyond – and how they plan to support the sector’s transition to zero emission.

Speakers: Ian Luckett, ZECT; Jessica Matthew, DfT.

11:15hrs          Session 4 - All change? New markets for coach and bus

Travel habits have changed since the pandemic and we can’t rely solely on yesterday’s passengers making yesterday’s journeys. Our speakers look at how we can explore new markets and work together to attract more people out of their cars.

Speakers: Alison Edwards, CPT UK; Andrew Bradley, NHS England; Tom Morgan, Trentbarton; Matt Clayson, Readygroup; Jack Quick, UKHospitality.

11:45hrs          Session 5 - Who’s in the driving seat? Us or tech?

ChatGPT, autonomous vehicles and living on our phones. The media narrative continues to assert that tech is the future. Our panel takes a look at operations, vehicles and the link to the customer and predicts where the future lies, while asking: Is industry driving tech? Or is tech driving industry?

Speakers: Tim Deakin, Route One; Jemma James, Trutac; Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Ticketer; Phil Fletcher, Volvo Bus UK & Ireland.

12:15hrs          Closing remarks – Graham Vidler, CPT Chief Executive

12:25hrs          Refreshments including networking & Supplier Exhibition 

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