Marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, organisers of Europe’s premier trade fair of 2014, Euro Bus Expo, will commemorate the role played by buses and their drivers during the conflict, at the event this autumn. .
To launch this year’s visitor campaign, Mark Griffin, Show Director, along with Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT)’s Simon Posner (CEO) and Ian Morgan (Chairman), travelled to Nottingham to see first-hand the type of vehicle used extensively throughout the war, most often as transportation for troops to the front line, ambulances and sometimes even mobile pigeon coops.
Says Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin: â€œIn 2012, the Prime Minister spoke of how the Government would commemorate the centenary of the First World War. He said: ‘Our duty towards these commemorations is clear: to honour those who served, to remember those who died, and to ensure that the lessons learned live with us foreverâ€¦’
â€œI certainly echo those sentiments, which is why I am pleased that the CPT is leading the bus and coach industry in commemorating the First World War. Transport played a key role throughout the war effort, and it is right that we remember the men and women who made that possible.
â€œI understand that Euro Bus Expo will further recognise the contribution to the war effort made by bus operators, and particularly the increasing role of women in the industry. I hope that this occasion will be a fitting tribute to those who served, and to those who gave their lives.â€
Mr Posner said: â€œThere will be numerous events this year commemorating the start of First World War. It is absolutely right that the industry recognises the vital role played by the bus and those staff a century ago. We shall be including a commemorative display within the show this year, which coincides with the run up to Remembrance Day. It will give an opportunity to see how technology and innovation has progressed in all those years and pay tribute to those who supported the war effort.â€
Said Mr Griffin: â€œOver 1,000 B-Types, with their drivers, were requisitioned by the War Department in 1914 for use on the Western Front. Many did not return. As an industry it is important that we mark such a key part played by these unsung heroes. And it’s equally important that we look forward â€“ which is exactly what we’ll be doing at the show this year.
â€œWith new products being launched at the show that we know of already it will be another great showcase to attend for anyone with an eye on the future.â€
Euro Bus Expo (4-6 November) will focus firmly on the future of passenger transport with an education programme based on technology and the environment.
The Master Class theatre, supported by Lytx (formerly DriveCam), will feature a series of seminars looking at how advancing technology is, and will continue to, benefit the industry, as well as exploring what passenger transport might look like well into the future.
Green issues and the compelling business cases to improve the image of public transport will be investigated on the Environment Stage, supported by BAE Systems. Environmental experts and key industry suppliers will take to the stage in a series of short presentations.
Demand for stands at Euro Bus Expo is extremely strong with over 90% of space taken and over 200 exhibitors already confirmed to take part. Looking to the future, alternative fuel vehicles will include examples of hybrid, full electric, gas and other forms of low emission systems.
Visitors to the show will be able to see the replica (on a 1966 Bedford chassis) 1910 London General Omnibus Company B-Type pictured, owned and operated by Malcolm Hearson of Hearson Heritage Tours of Nottingham.
Pictured at the Show launch: From left: Simon Posner, Ian Morgan and Mark Griffin.