The Coach and Bus Association Cymru (CABAC) has published its short- and long-term policy aspirations for the industry in Wales ahead of the Senedd election on 6 May.
CABAC’s document captures each of the coach and bus sectors. It advocates a continuing collaborative approach, calling on candidates to assist the industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and in its future development. In return, CABAC promises investment and engagement from the industry to help to deliver wider public policy aims.
Coach and Bus Association Cymru advocates partnership approach
The Association is “very keen to work in partnership with all key [industry] stakeholders, not just to build the recovery from the pandemic and by moving forwards from the Bus Emergency Scheme 2, but also by putting in place sustainable solutions that will meet the changing economic and environmental challenges of the future,” its manifesto document says.
CABAC adds that the industry in Wales has been “seriously damaged” by the pandemic. That has impacted its ability to invest in zero-emission technologies. CABAC says that the achievement of zero tailpipe emissions from coaches and buses “can and should be the aspiration of everyone,” but it adds that assistance will be required in making such a transition. Among CABAC’s calls is for policy that would support that work.
Other asks of politicians are:
- Meaningful and properly enforced bus priority measures, and effective enforcement of other parking and traffic regulations, including suitable technology fitted to coaches and buses
- Continued support for the leisure and hospitality sector after COVID-19
- A coordinated and integrated approach to transport planning, with operator involvement from the outset
- Roadside infrastructure upgrades and integrated real time passenger information
- Modern bus station and interchange facilities
- Secure overnight coach parking at destinations that adopts best practice guidelines.
In return, CABAC would commit to:
- Continue investment from its members in high-quality, low-emission vehicles
- Contribute to the development and integration of public transport in Wales
- Encourage its members to adopt best practice and partnership approaches in all aspects of service delivery
- Provide value for money.
Coach industry in Wales requires long-term policy approach
For coaches, CABAC advocates a partnership that it says would meet the industry’s needs while Wales recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and form future strategies for the sector.
The latter would involve policy regarding air quality, modal shift and coach friendly facilities. Such an approach would also benefit the Welsh leisure and tourism economy and the environmental agenda, CABAC adds.
The Association says that in the longer term, bringing together figures involved in the coach, hospitality and tourism industries would lead to the adoption of best practice guidelines and make coach a “viable and desirable” alternative to cars. Sustainability, accessibility and customer expectations are also part of its policy work for coaches.
For buses, CABAC says that it will continues to support innovation “where benefits to passengers are tangible,” such as the Fflecsi demand responsive model. It also accepts that the current ticketing landscape for buses is too complicated and advocates a multi-operator product being introduced.