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February 07 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

The industry’s achievements are
something to be proud of

New Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) President Martin Dean used his speech at the trade body’s annual dinner in London to send key messages.

“Now is the time, like never before, that we must forge closer and stronger relationships with our local authority partners. 

Former Minister Stephen Hammond filled the breach at the CPT annual dinner, with words of support

“We need to work in partnership because we have to address congestion. It is the scourge of our industry.

“But together with our local authority partners we are not powerless – we can deliver more reliable and punctual journeys.

Buses Minister, and Assistant Government Whip Nus Ghani was unable to attend due to “urgent government business” sending a video message instead.

She said: “I am a huge advocate for buses,” before saying that her priority is for seeing that the Buses Services Act is “working properly for people across the country.”

Referencing congestion, she added: “I want to use the Act to encourage local authorities and bus companies to look at a range of measures to make services more attractive.”

The CPT secured former Transport Minister Stephen Hammond, who reiterated the minister’s apologies. In an entertaining speech, he told the 400-strong audience: “The industry has a record to be proud of, but nothing can be taken for granted,” he said referring to the Bus Services Act and Manchester’s new franchising powers.

“It wanted the same powers as London, but that must be quite interested for them at the moment as London sees declining passenger numbers; the problem not being lack of regulation.

“If anything it’s sometimes regulation that impedes the achievement and innovation of the industry.

“Sometimes, it gets in the way of what passengers really want.”

He praised the huge investment over the last 20 years, and said this is sometimes lost when seen in the context of complaints about a single service or route.

“This industry should lobby more vigorously. Build on what the industry has, and remember that the outcome of the Act is a tribute to the CPT team, springing to the industry’s defence.”

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