Transport industry prepares for Coach & Bus UK 2019

Posted: 30 September 2019 | | No comments yet

Coach & Bus UK is bringing a raft of world-class innovations, vehicles and tech to the NEC Birmingham next week.  Doors open on Wednesday 2 October, with thousands of attendees expected.

The line-up includes two action-packed days of business and networking, 192 exhibitors, over 80 vehicles on display, innovative product launches and demos, plus 14 expert speakers – including CEOs and MDs from CPT UK, Stagecoach Group, Brighton & Hove Buses, Women in Transport, and Surface Transport at TfL – sharing exclusive insights at their industry show.

Event director Helen Conway says: “Coach & Bus UK has proved itself time after time to be an essential visit to see what’s new and compare the latest innovative products from leading and emerging brands.  The industry moves too quickly to miss it, which is why thousands of national and regional coach, bus and mini-vehicle operators, local authorities, transport specifiers, partnership coordinators, and stakeholders will be packing the aisles next week.”

Graham Vidler, chief executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, will be kicking off The Theatre programme with a much-anticipated opening address.  He says there’s ‘something for everyone’ to enjoy this year:  “Visitors will see first-hand all the very best and latest developments in the bus and coach sector presented by over 180 industry suppliers…showcasing everything from new vehicles, alternative power and retrofitting solutions, to ticketing, payments and digital services.”

For information about some of the 80+ vehicles at the show, visit:

Mr Vidler is also looking forward to taking on the role of head judge at the show’s new Innovation Challenge, which has been launched to recognise and reward the industry’s best new developments of the last 12 months; including passenger transport tech, vehicle accessories, workshop equipment, and more.

Innovation Challenge

There are 19 new products taking part and it’s up to show visitors to vote for their favourites on opening day at the Innovation Challenge Gallery.  Their top picks will then go forward to the Innovation Challenge Live Finals, starting at 12 noon the following day (Thursday 3 October in The Theatre).  This exciting live pitching session will see exhibitors take turns to wow the judges.  They have just 90-seconds to impress them and, potentially, win a gold, silver or bronze award.

The Innovation Challenge judges – who’ll be putting the finalists to the test – include Phil Hitchen, MD of Belle Vue Coaches; Chloe Leach-O’Connell, MD of Leach-O’Connell Consultancy (who has previously held senior marketing roles at Transdev and Arriva); Jon Eardley, engineering director UK Bus at Abellio; Tom Morgan, service delivery director at trentbarton; and (head judge) Graham Vidler, CEO of the CPT UK.

Innovation Challenge entries include:

  • Journeo™ Transit – 21st Century
  • School Bus Tracker – Affinity
  • E400HX Service Exchange Hybrid Battery Pack – Alliance Transport Technologies
  • CheckPro Customisable Daily Checks – CheckPro
  • D4Drivers Booking System – D4Drivers
  • Firetrace Automatic Fire Suppression System for Electric Vehicles – Firetrace
  • Fleet In Your Pocket – Freeway Fleet Systems
  • INSO Digitally Printed Flooring – INSO inspiring solutions for bus and coach
  • Invisi Warm – INSO inspiring solutions for bus and coach
  • The National Coach Network Platform – National Coach Network
  • All Buckled Up – Phoenix Seating
  • Premier Pits – Premier Pits
  • MirrorEye™ – Synectics
  • Kazoot – Ticketer
  • TyreWatch and TomTom Telematics – TomTom Telematics (AES Fleet)
  • Trusted Travel Reviews – Trusted Travel Reviews
  • Ticketless – UrbanThings
  • Air1 OptiSpray – Yara UK

The Innovation Challenge results will be announced at 2.30pm on Thursday 3 October.

For further information about the products competing for an Innovation Challenge Award, visit

The must-attend industry showcase

Coach & Bus UK may need little introduction to the industry it serves.  Around two in every three visitors to the biennial show (which alternates with Euro Bus Expo) have come before.  For them, it’s a ‘must attend’ for keeping up-to-date with the latest innovations, solutions, and insights.  First time visitors will soon discover the same.

“At Megabus, we are always seeking out innovation, promoting our sustainability credentials and collaborating with partners to help grow the market.  This is why I’ll be at Coach & Bus UK at the NEC,” says Mark Venables, MD at Megabus.

“Coach & Bus UK continues to provide the basis for great networking opportunities while showcasing all the latest innovations and improved technology within the industry,” says James Horseman, company director at Horseman Coaches.

“We see great value in attending Coach & Bus UK, the ability to speak with so many suppliers under one roof provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the needs of our business moving forward.  Networking with like-minded colleagues also brings positive benefit whilst learning about the many upcoming innovations for our industry,” says Scott Pearson, MD of Newport Transport.

“Coach & Bus UK is always a great reminder of why now is such an exciting time to be a part of this industry.  It’s a great chance to be able to see what innovative ideas are out there and what opportunities there are for us to keep moving forward,” says Hayley Russell, head of National Express UK private hire at National Express.

Free Keynote sessions in The Theatre

For full speaker details and timings, please visit

Wednesday 2 October:

  • Graham Vidler, CEO of Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) UK: Opening Address
  • Martin Griffiths, CEO of Stagecoach Group: Autonomous Buses and Coaches
  • Chris McKeown, chief engineer at Go-Ahead London: Electric Buses ‘Business as Usual’
  • Gareth Powell, MD of Surface Transport at Transport for London: ULEZ and Clean Air Zones
  • Keith McNally, operations director at CPT UK & Amir Rauf, programme manager vehicle retrofit at Energy Saving Trust: Retrofitting of Coaches
  • Nick Denton, Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands & Laura Hadzik, solicitor at Backhouse Jones: Mock Public Inquiry (focusing on commonplace compliance issues)
  • Allan Gooch, transport manager for the Commonwealth Games & Pete Bond, director of integrated network services for transport for West Midlands / West Midlands Combined Authority: Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: Opportunities for Operators

Thursday 3 October:

  • Sonya Byers, CEO of Women In Transport & Martin Harris, MD of Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus: Accelerating Diversity – Enhancing Performance
  • Steve Whiteway, transport specialist at S R Whiteway & Son: Is Turnover Vanity and Profit Sanity?
  • Innovation Challenge Live finals – The Pitches
  • Steven Salmon, international manager at the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK: Brexit – What We Know Today
  • Innovation Challenge Live finals – The Results

Coach & Bus UK – free trade registration

Coach & Bus UK returns to the NEC Birmingham next week on 2-3 October.  For further information and to register to attend, visit

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