News that Euro Bus Expo has been postponed to 2021 may have initially added to the downbeat feel that has gripped the industry since the onset of coronavirus COVID-19. But look more closely. The decision makes sense. It allows thoughts to turn more rapidly towards next year.
And that is important, particularly for the coach sector. 2020 is now largely a write-off. It is a year for which the priority is damage limitation. Battening down the hatches. But also making sure that your business is ready to go again when the time is right.
That position is the same for many suppliers. It should not be forgotten that their woes are in some cases as severe, or even worse, than those seen on the operating side of the industry. Euro Bus Expo being postponed frees those businesses’ time and allows their plans to focus on 2021.
One coach operator has spent its own downtime assessing things that it would not otherwise have time to. It is looking at its holiday programme and how that can be adapted to suit likely changes in domestic tourism. A good idea that will help to build a strong base for the future.
For the bus sector, in England and possibly Wales at least, Boris Johnson’s promise of major funding hangs in the wings.
Changes to urban centres brought about by the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis may benefit buses as the freedom of car movement is scrutinised. Despite that, Mr Johnson’s repeated and less than helpful comments about avoiding public transport wherever possible have placed a major hurdle to growth. It may take some time to overcome that.
Yet ‘overcome’ is one of the key words in the current saga. The industry will collectively overcome its present challenges. Ensuring that 2020 passes with minimum damage while clearing the decks and having a tentative look towards next year is the best way to do that.
Euro Bus Expo will be back. It will celebrate, promote and support the industry. As will routeone.