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Being the voice of a busy and active industry

Posted: 30 April 2008 | Simon Posner, Chief Executive, Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) | No comments yet

The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) is recognised by Government as the voice of the coach, bus and light rail industries and is the focus for consultation and negotiation on national and international legislation, local regulations, operational practices and engineering standards.

As a trade association, we exist for one reason only: to support our members and further their interests. We defend them when they are under fire and to try to agree, and then to promote, a common position on issues affecting the environment in which they operate.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) is recognised by Government as the voice of the coach, bus and light rail industries and is the focus for consultation and negotiation on national and international legislation, local regulations, operational practices and engineering standards. As a trade association, we exist for one reason only: to support our members and further their interests. We defend them when they are under fire and to try to agree, and then to promote, a common position on issues affecting the environment in which they operate.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) is recognised by Government as the voice of the coach, bus and light rail industries and is the focus for consultation and negotiation on national and international legislation, local regulations, operational practices and engineering standards.

As a trade association, we exist for one reason only: to support our members and further their interests. We defend them when they are under fire and to try to agree, and then to promote, a common position on issues affecting the environment in which they operate.

The benefits of CPT membership are not solely political and include a broad range of operational, technical, business and media services delivered by dedicated transport professionals within CPT. We have also developed, with a number of strategic industry partners, a range of commercial services for the exclusive benefit of members.

We believe that membership of CPT is a business decision which delivers short, medium and long-term benefits to coach, bus and light rail operators.

After more than 50 years of decline in bus passenger numbers, we have, in recent years, begun to see the tide turning and passenger growth on the increase.

During the past year we worked on a major campaign designed to promote awareness of the recent successes of the bus industry – with a particular focus on urban areas outside of the regulated London market.

This included the production of two publications. The first was ‘Moving Forward – New Opportunities, New Passengers’ which looked at what has worked particularly well in improving passenger numbers in some of our major cities and explore the impact these successes might have if they were to be adopted more widely.

The report gave overwhelming evidence that significant improvements can be achieved through a partnership approach – operators and local authorities working together – rather than organisations working in isolation. It revealed, for example, that by increasing the frequency of buses, decreasing bus journey times through reduced congestion, improving service punctuality and reliability and improving passenger waiting areas passengers would increase by: 12.4% in Greater Manchester; 13.2% in Merseyside; 9% in South Yorkshire; 12% in Tyne and Wear; 13.3% in West Midlands and 10.5% in West Yorkshire.

We also published, for the fourth year running, ‘On the Move – New Opportunities, New Passengers’, our report on the “state of the industry” which this year was able to highlight a significant year on year increase in bus travel of 3% to 4.72 billion. This ‘bus bible’ showcases successful partnerships between local authorities and operators up and down the country that are enticing people back onto the bus.

In recent months we have had considerable dialogue with the UK Government and devolved administrations. In England, the Local Transport Bill is now half way through its passage through Parliament. The Bill has serious implications for the country’s bus services and CPT has made Ministers aware of the needs of both the industry and our passengers in the formation of their policy. We await the Bill’s further progress in the House of Commons over the coming months and expect it to receive Royal Ascent by July.

The Government’s Concessionary Fares scheme was extended across the whole of England on 1 April and CPT has been involved in an extraordinary amount of work with Government on not only on the issues around recompense, but also the practicalities of its implementation and continued operation.

Meanwhile, we have also been in close contact with Ministers in both the Welsh and Scottish Governments on the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG). The debate on BSOG is certainly set to run and indeed the UK Government has just announced details of a review of the whole process. This is an extraordinarily key issue for the bus industry and CPT will be heavily involved in attempting to secure a positive outcome for both our members and passengers alike.

Concerning the coach aspect of our business, we have continued our efforts to promote the wide range of interests of the industry. We have met both with National Government Ministers to discuss items such as the use of High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes and with local authorities to find ways of tackling issues such as coach parking. And of course in Europe, we continue to maintain pressure and sustain the debate on Drivers Hours.

So, much to keep us active and busy!

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