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Confirmed Speakers

The 5th annual UK Bus Summit will take place in London on 6th February 2019. The UK Bus Summit is the premier bus event covering all parts of the UK. Held right at the heart of Westminster to elevate the importance of bus at the centre of local and national decision making, the event allows the opportunity to compare and contrast bus policy throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This year the focus will be on ‘The Future of Mobility’, why we need a long term bus investment strategy, air quality and, also how to get passengers on board buses.

Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport

Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Scottish Government

John McGrath, Deputy Secretary for the Department for Infrastructure, Northern Ireland

For more information please visit or call 0207 828 3804

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Additional speakers include: • David Brown, Chief Executive, Go-Ahead • Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys • Gareth Powell, Managing Director Surface Transport, Transport for London • Pete Bond, Director of Transport Services, Transport for West Midlands • Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair, Merseytravel • Giles Fearnley, Managing Director, UK Bus, FirstGroup • Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Birmingham City Council • Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability & Carbon Reduction, Glasgow City Council • Peter Williams, Director of Certification & Compliance, Cummins Europe • Prof. David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times • Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus

Supported by

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WELCOME Welcome to the UK Bus Summit Review 2019, a publication devoted to the UK’s main mode of public transport. This publication has been produced by Passenger Transport, in association with Transport Times Events, to coincide with the fifth annual UK Bus Summit. This event will be held in London at the QEII Conference Centre, Westminster, on February 6 and is supported by the CPT, Department for Transport, Greener Journeys, LowCVP and Transport for London. The UK Bus Summit Review 2019 puts the spotlight on local bus services in the UK, and on the operators, authorities, suppliers and other stakeholders involved in planning and providing them. It celebrates the sector’s achievements and considers the challenges that it faces now and in the years ahead. The focus of this year’s UK Bus Summit will be the future of mobility, why we need a long term bus investment strategy, air quality and also how to get passengers onboard buses. We hope you find it an interesting read and we welcome all feedback.









Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani on why it’s an exciting time for transport

Professor David Begg relishes bringing buses to Westminster

Looking back at a challenging 12 months for buses

Claire Haigh outlines a strategy for building bus use in Britain







Britain’s biggest bus manufacturer offers a wide range of solutions

Arriva explains how it is seeking to understand the needs of its customers

Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus reflects on 2018






G O -A H E A D





Go-Ahead Group launched a range of new initiatives in 2018

The group reveals it has completed the introduction of the Real Living Wage

Mark Threapleton outlines his vision for Britain’s buses in the future

Transport Focus looks at how it puts the industry under the microscope

Details of the programme for the fifth annual UK Bus Summit


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AN EXCITING TIME FOR TRANSPORT his year’s UK Bus Summit comes at an exciting time for the transport industry. New technology and business models are allowing the transport industry the opportunity to innovate in delivering mobility services, operate more sustainably and deliver better passenger experiences. To this end, I welcome the focus of the Summit on ‘The Future of Mobility’ and how the bus industry can be at the forefront of the changing transport industry. Our Future of Urban Mobility Strategy will outline the principles guiding the Government’s approach to the future of mobility in cities. Following this, there will be a call for evidence seeking views on opportunities arising in rural areas. Alongside the opportunities


presented by changes in mobility, there will be a range of challenges to consider, including how we can ensure the interests of passengers and residents are protected in the face of technological and service changes. Tackling these challenges will require increased collaboration between transport users, industry and the Government. The bus industry plays a vital role in improving our air quality. I welcome the bus industry’s efforts to increase patronage and adopt new technologies, reducing emissions and taking more cars off our roads. Through the Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, providing £48m of funding for purchasing ultra-low emission buses and supporting infrastructure, the Government continues to support the bus industry’s sustainability efforts. Positive passenger experiences remain a focus of this Government

which is why we invited feedback last year on exercising the Open Data powers within the Bus Services Act. The provision of richer bus data to customers, including bus routes, timetables and fares, will improve passenger experiences, with the objective of increasing bus patronage. The Inclusive Transport Strategy, published last July, also aims to improve passenger experiences for customers with visible and less visible disabilities. I have been encouraged by the awareness of the transport industry of the need to provide inclusive transport services. To achieve the objectives of the Strategy, partnership between industry and the Government is crucial, which is why the Government is making available £2m of funding for smaller bus operators to install audiovisual equipment on buses.

With all the changes occurring in the transport landscape, 2019 looks to be a memorable year for the bus industry. The Government looks forward to working with the bus industry to take advantage of opportunities that will result in an innovative and robust transport industry that delivers high quality passenger experiences across the UK. n

Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport

Nusrat Ghani at the launch of Harrogate's low emission bus town last year


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Professor David Begg, organiser and host of the UK Bus Summit, relishes the opportunity to bring buses to Westminster

ow in its fifth year, the UK Bus Summit has cemented itself in the calendar as a must-attend event for anyone with an interest in what buses can do for our communities. Held right at the heart of Westminster to plant the flag for buses at the centre of local and national decision making, the summit allows the opportunity to compare and contrast bus policy throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The event’s ringmaster is Professor David Begg, who is widely acknowledged as “the UK’s foremost transport guru”. Few, if any, can match Begg blend’s of transport sector knowledge, communication skills and political nous. Well known as Publisher and Chief Executive of Transport Times, along with being a member or chair of numerous committees and boards, Begg is frequently called upon to advise on transport matters. He is also a Visiting Professor in sustainable transport at Plymouth University, His three passions in life are transport, politics and Hibernian, a football club, based in his home city of Edinburgh. “I didn’t really have much choice in politics because my grandmother was politically active, she was a suffragette,” he explains. “She was politically active in the Labour Party at the time when it


wasn’t easy to be politically active. The Labour Party were viewed as some sort of revolutionary Force.” His parents were also active in politics and he followed in their footsteps from a young age. Although he is political, Begg would never describe himself as ideological. He is open minded about whether buses are regulated, for example, believing it to be “a secondary issue”. Without support for difficult pro-bus measures, such as car restraint, he says that a change of ownership will not change the fortunes of buses. He would, however, support re-regulation of buses in the event of a market failure. “Too often we think there is a silver bullet to tackle bus patronage decline,” he says. “A lot of people think that you need to regulate. But my view is that you need to get other measures in place before you reach for that lever.” Begg’s interest in transport was also inspired by his family. His father worked as a train driver, starting on the footplate just after the railways were nationalised in 1946 and retiring just before privatisation in 1995. His home city meanwhile made him mindful of the importance of buses. “If you are from Edinburgh you’ve got a very different perspective on buses than you have in some other cities,” he says. “I am still really proud of Lothian Buses and what they offer.” He was himself dependent on bus services. At first this was because he was too poor to own a car, but later on, when he could have afforded one, he decided not to because he wanted to set the right example to others. “I wanted to walk the walk,” he explains. “This is one of the key things I have picked up. The mode of transport you use shapes your view, and shapes your view on what sort of priority there should be.

“We gave half the roadspace coming into Edinburgh to buses because bus passengers represented 50% of the passengers during the peak. It was an efficient use of space. I guess some people would want to portray that as being anti-car”

“People who just drive view the problem from behind the windscreen of their car and are oblivious to other users.” It is for this reason that, as chair of the Glasgow Connectivity Commission, Begg is advising that employees of Glasgow City Council lead by example and make greater use of public transport. As a bus user in Edinburgh in the 1980s he saw how a good bus company, with a good fleet, was getting held up in the city’s congested streets – and he felt strongly that something should be


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As the political lead on transport for Lothian Region and then City of Edinburgh councils, Begg rolled out the 'Greenways' network of bus lanes in the Scottish capital

done about it. “I think the reason I am passionate about buses was because I am always really supportive of what I would call the underdog,” he says. “I think bus passengers are the underdog in terms of just not having their voice heard, not being vociferous enough, and that riles me.” In the 1990s, Begg was in a position to do something about this – and he seized it. Combining his interests in transport and politics, he served as the political lead on transport for

Lothian Region and then City of Edinburgh councils. He rolled out the ‘Greenways’ network of bus lanes across the city. The green paint on the roads served as a reminder that this roadspace was reserved for a sustainable mode of transport. (It is also, entirely by co-incidence, the colour of his beloved Hibernian FC). “We gave half the roadspace coming into Edinburgh to buses because bus passengers represented 50% of the passengers during the peak,” he says. “It was

an efficient use of space. “I guess some people would want to portray that as being anti-car. My answer is that the most anti car strategy of all is just to carry on the path that has not worked in the past. It leads to more and more congestion and it’s not in motorists’ interests to sit in snarled up traffic. “It’s in everyone’s interest to make efficient use of space. It’s not being anti-car. It’s just being pro-efficiency, pro-healthy cities.” Many disagreed and Begg took a lot of flak for implementing the

Greenways. Even the annual gettogether of the Scottish bus and coach industry did not provide a sanctuary. He once found himself being lambasted over dinner by the wife of a bus company MD who claimed that the new bus lanes made it much harder for her to drive to the upmarket Jenners department store on Edinburgh’s Princes Street! Begg is therefore conscious that pro-bus, pro-efficiency policies require brave politicians, and he wants to make sure that they are supported.


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“That’s the main reason why we started these award ceremonies, the National Transport Awards and the other off-shoots from that,” he says. “It’s to actually just recognise politicians who are making some really tough decisions and getting a lot of brickbats thrown their way for doing the right thing.” Last year, it was Begg’s turn to be recognised. He was awarded the Services to the Industry Award at the UK Bus Awards in London. In 1999, Begg was handed an opportunity to influence national policy when then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott appointed him as Chair of the newly established Commission for Integrated Transport. Prescott, who was also the Secretary of State for Transport, wanted CfIT to advise the Labour government and hold it to account on its record of delivering a cleaner, greener, more equitable and more efficient transport system. Modal shift, from cars to public transport, was at the top of the agenda. Begg continued in the post until 2005, but modal shift soon

“The biggest issue that is now developing is the quite alarming decline in city centre retail and how are we shore that up”

slipped out of political focus. CfIT was scrapped in 2010 by the new coalition government, with the incoming Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, declaring that the “war on the motorist” was over. Does Begg feel that we’ve lost something? Who is championing pro-bus, pro-efficiency measures at Westminster these days? “I think you’ll find that every Secretary of State for Transport who has succeeded John Prescott comes nowhere near to devoting the amount of time that he devoted to buses. “Even if you look at some of the Labour secretaries of state they have always delegated that to other ministers. Andrew Adonis would have been focused on high speed rail. Alistair Darling would be focused on dealing with the move from Railtrack to Network Rail and then the SRA [Strategic Rail Authority]. “But John Prescott was so focused on buses because he appreciated just how important they were - the lifeblood of society.” Begg recalls the document,

From Workhorse to thoroughbred: a better role for bus travel, that Prescott’s Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions published 20 years ago. “This was all about modal shift,” he says. “It wasn’t just about filling up the bus full of people travelling on concessions. This was about how we get people out of their cars, and to do that we had to offer a quality product. “But you never hear much talk of modal shift now. When was the last time you heard a transport minister talk about wanting to achieve a modal shift? “We’ve started to focus on ‘we give people choice’. The trouble is if you give people choice and you don’t have car restraint then too often they will choose the car

with all the detrimental impacts that has on cities in particular. You might argue that it works for the individual - but it doesn’t work collectively for society.” The annual UK Bus Summit provides a unique forum for the bus industry to make its case to policy-makers. In 1999, John Prescott hosted a bus summit at the QEII Centre in Westminster. A decade and a half later, in 2015, Begg and his Transport Times Events team revived the concept and 2019 is the fifth consecutive year that the UK Bus Summit has taken place. “It really takes bus policy right to the heart of Westminster,” says Begg. “So that’s why we choose the QEII. It just means you get more politicians coming along, and you are more likely to get them there. It puts buses where they should be, right at the heart of decision-making. “It’s also an opportunity for the industry to showcase its best products. You have the newest, cleanest, greenest vehicles outside. So it’s not just people going to


That is probably a fair assessment of where we are at.”

Those attending the 2017 UK Bus Summit were asked five questions about the challenges facing the bus sector, now and in the future. Two years on, we put the same questions to Professor David Begg.

The bus industry is facing structural decline? “Yes,” says Begg, again concurring with the majority view (67%) in 2017. “But it doesn’t have to be. “I could give you a really positive outlook here, but it needs some pretty radical decisions,” he explains. “I can give you a very different outlook like what we are trying to create with the Glasgow Connectivity Commission where we have set a target to grow bus patronage by 25% in five years, but that involves pretty dramatic action to improve bus journey times. That is the foundation for that as well as investment in the [bus] fleet. “A stronger city centre, a bigger city centre population and all of that. If you put all that in place then I can give you a positive outlook.”

UK bus patronage will be higher in 10 years’ time? “No,” says Begg, concurring with the overwhelming majority of respondents (71%) at the 2017 UK Bus Summit. “I just think that the headwinds are so strong. I don’t see the political appetite to make sure the buses aren’t snarled up by congestion.” “Maybe you will get one or two outliers, cities that do the right thing and try to improve bus journey times, but I still don’t see that political appetite to make the tough decisions on allocating road space that allows buses to beat congestion. “So if you are asking me in 10



It's highly likely that more and more people will be shopping online in 10 years time

years’ time will buses be slower than they are today, unfortunately yes. And will there be a lot more people shopping online in 10 years’ time than there are today? Yep, you’d better believe it. If you think about how dependent buses are on people going to the shops, that’s got to impact on bus patronage.” Begg recalls listening to an impressive presentation by Giles Fearnley to the board of FirstGroup

PLC in 2011, soon after his appointment as Managing Director of the group’s UK bus business. “I said to him, I like the fare cuts, reducing fares and growing the market and the marketing, that’s all really positive. But even if you get all of that right the headwinds are just so strong, the external factors are so strong that you might be running fast just to stand still. “In a way that is probably right.

What is the main challenge facing the bus sector? No surprises here; congestion is the main challenge in Begg’s eyes. It was



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the event who see them, a lot of people passing by see them as well. “But the other key objective for this summit is to try and engage with decision-makers who just don’t think that bus policy is anything to do with them. That’s why we work really hard to get the Local Enterprise Partnership chief execs and chairman along to this event, so that they realise that [buses] should be uppermost in their minds as well.” This year the focus will be on ‘The Future of Mobility’, why we need a long term bus investment strategy, air quality and, also how to get passengers on board buses. It will also feature a discussion about how important buses are to city centre retail, and vice versa. “The biggest issue that is now developing is the quite alarming decline in city centre retail and how we are going to shore that up,” Begg explains. “So what we will be focusing on at this event is how there should be growing partnerships between local bus companies and city centre retail managers and local authorities to also the most popular response at the UK Bus Summit in 2017 (30%), ahead of council funding cuts (26%). Begg says that he might not have offered this answer three or four years ago. However, the complaints from bus operators about congestion kept growing and he felt that its impact needed to be quantified. He undertook research for sustainable transport lobby group Greener Journeys that revealed how bus journey times had increased dramatically over recent decades as a result of congestion. “It really was stark,” he says. “Bus journey times have deteriorated by 50%.” Pressed to offer another important challenge for the bus sector, Begg identifies engagement with customers (or the lack of it). “If I get frustrated with bus companies it’s around how they’ve left themselves open to some new tech company owning their customers,” he explains. “I still don’t know why. There may be a reason for it which hasn’t

help we make city centres much more appealing places. “That means the bus companies can’t just have a knee-jerk reaction of opposing every single pedestrianisation. They have to be much more collaborative about any policy that makes the city centre more vibrant.” The summit will also focus on the growing demand for new housing and the need to make sure that new developments are built with buses in mind, so that there is a sustainable transport choice. So what does Begg consider to be his biggest political achievement? “Painting the roads green down Gorgie Road [close to the stadium of Hibernian’s city rivals, Heart of Midlothian]. “I almost got the Hibs striker at the time, Keith Wright, to officially open it, but a colleague said to me that was a step too far!” n n The UK Bus Summit takes

Begg was awarded the Services to the Industry Award at the UK Bus Awards

been properly explained to me, but if I was MD of a local bus company I would be wanting to communicate regularly with my customers. “When they get a pass, or if they use any form of payment card I’d want to know their email address, can I get their phone number, can I drop them text messages, can I email them, can I apologise when we know the journey time is longer than it should be?” He thinks that bus companies should ask passengers to exert pressure on councils when there are things that could be done to make

the journeys faster and more reliable. “I’d want to mobilise them,” he says. If bus companies fail to communicate with their customers, Begg believes that someone else will step into that space. “Trust me on this one, if companies don’t really communicate with their customer and own the customer then someone else will,” he predicts. “Some Mobility as a Service company - and it could be a big Google or Uber or whoever - are going to come along and say, ‘look we’ve got 100,000 members in your city, we want a deal for them to travel on your buses’. And then what happens is the bus company has become like the Uber driver. They provide the service from A to B but Uber own the customer and the customer’s bank details.”

The focus on emissions is an opportunity rather than a threat to the bus sector? “I still think that’s an opportunity,” says Begg, agreeing with 86% of respondents in 2017, “but it is


Whim has launched Mobility as a Service operations in the West Midlands

place on February 6, 2019, at the QEII Centre, Westminter, London. See for details.

potentially a threat too. “If you don’t make sure that there is sufficient government support for making this conversion to green vehicles, whether that is Euro 6 or electric, then it can burst an economic model.” He points to the situation in Scotland where the Glasgow Low Emission Zone has set a challenging schedule for upgrading the bus fleet to Euro 6 standards but concerns over state aid threaten to limit the support that the government can provide to bus companies. If bus companies are forced to shoulder these costs it could result in cuts in service frequency or increased fares. “I think they are a real opportunity, Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones, as long as buses are seen as central to the solution rather than the problem,” he says. “Let me put it another way, if bus patronage doesn’t grow in these Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones in Scotland then we are in trouble. It will be counter-productive.”


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“We are extremely proud of our Scania gas-fuelled buses.” “We began extensive research into alternative fuels in 2012 and concluded that bio-gas offers an outstanding long-term sustainable solution. We entered into discussions with Scania, our primary long-term heavy bus supply partner, and the resulting double-deckers are excellent, premium quality vehicles.” Mark Fowles, Managing Director Nottingham City Transport

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Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, addressed the issue of air quality at the UK Bus Summit in February: ‘We really are facing a public health emergency’


‘CLEAN AIR ZONES MUST EMBRACE BUS TRAVEL’ Greener Journeys chief executive Claire Haigh addressed the role of the bus in reducing emissions at the UK Bus Summit 2018 in London in February. “We really are facing a public health emergency,” she told delegates. Modern pollutants are not

visible like the smogs of the 1950s, Haigh observed, but are “every bit as lethal”. And transport had a big burden of responsibility for tackling the problem, as the single biggest emitter of NOx. “The sheer volume of traffic on our roads is not just a drag on the economy but a killer,” she said. Pointing out that cars were the biggest source of transport emissions (40%), followed by vans and HGVs, with buses on 6%, she said that efforts to tackle congestion must be a cornerstone

of clean air policy and “should be targeted at the biggest polluters”. Progress in bus technology had outstripped that of cars so that a Euro 6 bus was cleaner than a Euro 6 car, even before taking into account the bus’s extra carrying capacity. “Clean air zones need to embrace bus travel as an integral part,” Haigh argued. But current government guidance requires councils to target buses first, then HGVs, and cars as a last resort “the exact reverse order”. In the 1950s the government

rose to the challenge and passed the Clean Air Act to tackle smog. “No less is asked of our government today,” she concluded. MARCH PASSENGERS

BUS DRIVERS ARE STILL THE KEY Passenger watchdog Transport Focus chose to emphasise the importance of bus drivers when launching its eighth annual


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Bus Passenger Survey in March. “Despite all the great technical innovation out there, passengers are telling us that it’s still the bus driver that can make or break their journey experience,” commented Transport Focus director David Sidebottom. The survey identified the factors that help deliver that ‘good’ and much sought-after ‘great’ passenger journey. The helpfulness, positive attitude and driving standards of the bus driver had a significant impact on both the ‘good’ and ‘great’ journeys. Speaking to almost 48,000 bus passengers across Great Britain, the watchdog also found that overall passenger satisfaction was 88% in England (outside London), 89% in Scotland and 90% in Wales.

launch event held at Bristol & Bath Science Park. “Metrobus combines low emissions, new customer-facing technologies and infrastructure on a massive scale. It will revolutionise public transport with faster journeys and a much higher standard of bus travel. It provides the foundation on which we can build a public transport system fit for the future in the city region which is the powerhouse of the regional economy.”

James Freeman (left), First West of England’s managing director, launching Metrobus




LABOUR PLEDGES FREE BUS TRAVEL FOR UNDER 25S On April 11 bus policy made a rare appearance in national news headlines as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn promised free bus travel for people aged under 25. Announcing the policy at a sixth form school in Derby, Corbyn said: “Labour wants to help young people make the most out of life by investing in them, which is why we are pledging the next Labour government will provide the funds to cover free bus travel for under 25s, to support them to travel to work, to study and to visit friends.” Labour estimates that the total cost across the country would be £1.4bn per year by the end of a five-year term in office, paid for by ring-fencing a proportion of Vehicle Excise Duty. As well as local authorities in England, the funding would be available to devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Labour anticipates that the benefits would also include helping to reverse the decline in bus use, better air quality and less road congestion.


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launches a pledge of offer free bus travel for under 25s

day in and day out: unannounced roadworks; poorly phased traffic lights; congestion due to events... it just always seems to be somebody else’s problem. What we need is somebody who will take strategic control of the highway.”


CONGESTION IS THE ‘MAIN CHALLENGE’ What is the main challenge facing the bus sector? ‘Congestion’ is the most likely response from managers at Britain’s municipal and independent bus companies. Two-fifths (40%) gave this answer in an exclusive poll for The ALBUM Report 2018, published by Passenger Transport. Congestion was seen as a bigger challenge than either ‘council funding cuts’ (cited by 14% of respondents) or ‘low cost of motoring’ (10%). Commenting on the congestion challenge, Mark Fowles, chair of the ALBUM grouping of Britain’s ‘non aligned’ bus operators and managing director of Nottingham City Transport, said: “The things we have to deal with


BRISTOL METROBUS ROUTE LAUNCHES First West of England began operating the first route that forms part of the Bristol area’s Metrobus bus rapid transit network in May. The M3 route connects Emersons Green in South Gloucestershire and the University of the West of England campus with Bristol city centre. The full service launched on May 29 with free travel until June 9. “This is a landmark for local public transport and, in particular, for the bus in the city region,” said James Freeman, First West of England’s managing director, at a

In June, the Scottish Government outlined plans to improve bus services in Scotland by providing local authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships with more flexibility to respond to local needs by pursuing partnership working with operators on a statutory basis, by local franchising or by running their own buses. The Transport (Scotland) Bill also offers a route for the creation and decriminalised enforcement of Low Emission Zones, standardised smart ticketing and a strengthening of the powers of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner in order to better regulate road works. “This government will not stand by as bus passenger numbers decline. Partnership is at the centre of our proposals, with a new model for local authorities to work with bus operators to revitalise services,” said Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf. “We are also providing clearer options for authorities to pursue local franchising or provide services themselves in appropriate circumstances.” IN N OVATION

GO-AHEAD BEGINS OXFORD RIDE-SHARE TRIAL Go-Ahead subsidiary Oxford Bus Company launched what it claimed was the UK’s most


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ambitious app-based, ridesharing minibus network in June, with the introduction of its new PickMeUp service in Oxford’s ‘Eastern Arc’. The on demand service enables residents, workers and students in a 12 square mile area around Oxford to request a bus pick-up within minutes at a virtual bus stop using a new mobile phone app. Passengers use the app to request a ride and the PickMeUp minibus will go to the nearest safe pick up point. Journeys will be matched with others wishing to make similar journeys to enable ride sharing. The frontend and back-end technology for the service was developed in partnership with Via, a New York-based market leader in ridesharing technology. PickMeUp will operate for at least the next three years as part of a pilot project that has been

“Now in its sixth year, Catch the Bus Week has grown from strength to strength and is vital to raising awareness of the essential economic, social and environmental benefits of the bus,” said Greener Journeys chief executive Claire Haigh. “Buses are the predominant mode of public transport and vital to reducing congestion and air pollution. “The enthusiasm shown by bus operators, MPs, local authorities and many others in this year’s celebrations is so encouraging and is central to the success of the initiative and we look forward to seeing activities over the course of the week.” Haigh called for a long-term investment strategy for bus. “We have them for rail, walking, cycling and roads,” she said. “It is time to develop a plan that includes our most vital form of transport.”

backed by Go-Ahead. The group sees the service as a testbed for demand responsive technologies that could be introduced at other group subsidiaries. J U LY CA M PA I G N S

MINISTER BACKS ‘CATCH THE BUS WEEK’ Catch the Bus Week was launched on July 2 by Greener Journeys and Nusrat Ghani MP, the buses minister, along with a large group of supporters from across the worlds of politics and transport. Lilian Greenwood MP, the chair of the Transport Select Committee, and representatives from TfL and major bus operating groups, came together to celebrate the benefits of the bus at a special event outside the Houses of Parliament.


70% OF NXWM TRIPS ON DIGITAL TICKETS In July, National Express Group forecast that 70% of journeys on its West Midlands bus services would be made on a combination of mobile, bankcard and smartcard tickets by the end of 2018. The prediction of a further acceleration in the use of digital tickets follows continued strong growth in the first half of the year after the introduction of contactless bankcard ticketing in 2017 and daily price capping. By the end of June, 50% of journeys were being made on digital tickets, compared to 37% in June 2017 and 29% in June 2016. Presenting the group’s halfyear financial results, NEG chief executive Dean Finch said the switch to digital ticketing was partly responsible for continued

Go-Ahead subsidiary Oxford Bus Company launched what it claimed was the UK’s most ambitious app-based, ridesharing minibus network, PickMeUp, in June


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Catch the Bus Week was launched on July 2 by Greener Journeys and Nusrat Ghani MP, the buses minister, along with a large group of supporters

patronage growth in the West Midlands with commercial passenger numbers rising 1.3% in the six months to June. AU GUST A IR Q UA LI TY

HARROGATE EN-ROUTE TO ‘LOW EMISSION BUS TOWN’ Transdev Blazefield began operating a new fleet of eight electric buses on the bulk of Harrogate’s local bus network in August with the ambition of creating ‘Britain’s first low emission bus town’. The vehicles were the first fully electric Volvo 7900s to enter service in the UK. Their purchase was made possible with part funding from a £2.25m grant from the government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme. Launching the scheme at an event for local stakeholders,

and West Belfast (G1) and the city centre to the Titanic Quarter (G2). Both routes feature extensive priority measures and off-bus ticketing. Glider is operated by a fleet of 30 Exqui.City “trambuses”, supplied by Van Hool. These 18-metre articulated diesel-electric hybrid vehicles combine the flexibility of the bus with the efficiency and passenger appeal of light rail, with a capacity of 106 passengers. The Glider vehicles are fitted with three double doors for quick and safe boarding and alighting. They also feature on-board information screens providing real time journey information and audio visual next stop and destination announcements, free on-board Wi-Fi and USB charging facilities. In October, Translink, Northern Ireland’s public transport provider, released early passenger figures showing around 30,000 more passengers every week were now

buses minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Further uptake in zero emission buses such as these are vital in improving air quality. Buses are not the problem, but they are part of the solution to improving air quality, and Harrogate are leading the way by aiming to be the first low emission bus town in the UK and that deserves a round of applause.” She added: “These vehicles are an integral part of our plans to improve the air that we breathe and I look forward to seeing their rollout in further towns and cities across the country.” S EPTEM B ER BUS RAPI D TRANSIT

FLAGSHIP GLIDER ROUTE ARRIVES IN BELFAST Belfast’s £90m Glider service began operating on September 3 on cross-city routes between East

making Glider their first choice for travel - an increase of over 17%. “We are very pleased with the initial response from the public to Glider, we have had much positive feedback, both in terms of the look and feel of the vehicles, but also in terms of the opportunity for people to connect across the city,” said Chris Conway, Translink’s chief executive. O CTO BER STRATEGY

BE POSITIVE, SOUTER TELLS TRANSPORT PROVIDERS Sir Brian Souter urged his bus industry colleagues to be positive about the future in October, declaring that “these companies will come back into fashion”. Addressing the CPT Scottish Conference in Ayrshire, the Stagecoach chairman outlined three major challenges to the


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future of the bus industry: internet sales, home working and digital disruptors like Uber. But he urged his transport industry colleagues to be bold and expand their businesses. “Honestly, I know you think I’m nuts, but this is a great time for expansion,” he told delegates. Souter predicted that investors will eventually rediscover the value of transport groups like Stagecoach, and he contrasted the “gentle decline” that has returned to the transport sector with plummeting sales of newspapers. “We don’t have a problem of that scale as an industry ... There is everything to play for here,” he said. “These are fantastic businesses and we need to rewrite the story as far as these quoted companies are concerned.”

Belfast’s £90m Glider service began operating on September 3 on two routes


BOX FRESH BUSES FOR GLASGOW First Glasgow went all out to launch its fleet of 75 new buses for the city of Glasgow in October. The city’s largest bus operator unveiled the first of its new state-of-the-art vehicles in a

unique yellow and purple livery and turned the first one off the production line it into the world’s largest model bus display for all to see in George Square. The new MMC 400 double deck buses, supplied by Falkirkbased Alexander Dennis Limited, represent a £14m investment. The new low emission Euro 6 vehicles entered service in time for the new city-wide Low Emissions Zone coming into effect from December. “We are happy to say that this new investment means we will be fully compliant with phase one of the Glasgow Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) Traffic Regulation Condition,” commented First Glasgow Managing Director Andrew Jarvis. “We now look forward to working in close partnership with Glasgow City Council to not only deliver the next phase of the process, but also to improve bus services and help make public transport more attractive to more people in Glasgow.” AWARDS

Transdev Blazefield began operating a new fleet of eight electric buses in August

First Glasgow found an imaginative way of launching its fleet of 75 new Alexander Dennis double deck buses for Glasgow in October

GO SOUTH COAST NAMED ‘BUS OPERATOR OF THE YEAR’ Go-Ahead Group’s Go South Coast subsidiary was named ‘Bus Operator of the Year’ at the 18th annual National Transport Awards. The presentation ceremony at the Westminster Park Plaza in London in October was attended by more than 600 people. The judges observed that within the last year Go South Coast had focused on colleague training, accessible information, investment in its fleet, and the latest technologies as well as community engagement. Patronage has also increased by 14% since 2012, bucking the national trend. The company was also named ‘Employer of the Year’. The award for ‘Improvements to Bus Services’ was won by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Merseytravel, Arriva Merseyside, Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire for the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance. Other winners included:


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n Excellence in Travel Information & Marketing: Stagecoach East Scotland for Express City Connect. n Apprentice Champion of the Year: First Bus for its apprenticeship programme. n Frontline Employee of the Year: Cameron Dyche, First Aberdeen. n Most Innovative Transport Project: Transdev Blazefield for VAMOOZ. LO N D O N

TfL REVEALS PLANS FOR BUS CUTS In a move that had been expected for some time, Transport for London announced a major public consultation exercise in October that could see significant changes to the operation of 34 bus routes in central London. The proposed changes ranged from frequency cuts and changes to route termini to the proposed wholesale withdrawal of three routes - the 48, RV1 and the night service on Route 271. However, a new route 311 between Fulham Broadway and Oxford Circus was proposed to replace cuts made elsewhere. TfL said the exercise was the first significant change to central London bus routes in 16 years and was about providing the right number of buses, in the right place, at the right time. It added that bus patronage in the centre of the capital has fallen by 12% over the last three years and that capacity stripped out of the inner London network will be redeployed to the suburbs where TfL said it was still experiencing passenger growth. TfL added that some roads in central London, such as Kingsway in Holborn, are now served by more than 100 buses an hour, many of which are significantly underused.

Work on the project is expected to get underway during the second quarter of 2019 at ADL’s Guildford plant with the first vehicle expected to enter service with Stagecoach East Scotland in 2020.

passenger bus fleet after Innovate UK announced funding to support a successful bid by Stagecoach and partners. The trial will include five autonomous Alexander Dennis (ADL) Enviro200 single deck vehicles which will run between Fife and Edinburgh across the Forth Road Bridge. The buses will be used autonomously to ‘Level 4’ standard, in other words fully autonomous enough to mean a driver must remain on board during any journey in line with current UK regulations. Funding of £4.35m has been awarded by the UK government through Innovate UK with additional investment from operator Stagecoach, Transport Scotland, ADL, technology company Fusion Processing, and mobility services specialist ESP Group.


LOTHIAN THINKS BIG WITH 100-SEAT TRI-AXLES Alexander Dennis, Volvo and Lothian revealed the the Alexander Dennis Enviro400XLB in November, a new tri-axle double decker for the UK market. Council-owned Lothian has ordered 42 of these high capacity 13.4-metre vehicles. Offering 100 seats and with standees able to carry up to 129 passengers in total, the Enviro XLB delivers unrivalled capacity



Lothian announced an order for 42 high capacity tri-axle double deckers in November


STAGECOACH TO LAUNCH AUTONOMOUS BUS ROUTE In November, it was announced that Scotland is to host the trial of the first autonomous full-sized

for busy routes, while its front and middle doors will speed-up dwell times at bus stops. It has been built to even higher standards than bus users in Edinburgh are familiar with; comfortable highbacked seating, free Wi-Fi access, USB device charging, LED mood lighting and audio-visual next stop announcements. Lothian’s ambition has been to create a passenger environment that that will lure people out of their cars and help stem the current 4% year-on-year decline in patronage on its city network. The Enviro400XLB is also seen as a solution to worsening traffic congestion, which is slowing down buses. The second door, something which has seldom been specified on buses outside of London, will improve the flow of passengers both on and off the vehicles.

Stagecoach announced plans to trial autonomous buses on cross-Forth services

The number of people travelling by bus continues to decline across Great Britain, according to Department for Transport statistics published in December. Figures for July-September 2018 showed year-on-year decreases in England (-2.1%), Scotland (-4.5%) and Wales (-0.8%). Within England, the decline in London was slower. The year-on-year reduction was -1.3% in the capital compared to -2.9% elsewhere. The DfT statistics showed that the local bus fares index increased by 3.3% in England between September 2016 and September 2017. Local bus fares increased by 2.2% in Scotland and 1.8% in Wales. Within England there was a 1.0% increase in London, likely to be the result of the introduction of the Hopper Fare in September 2016. Outside of London, there was a 4.1% increase in metropolitan areas and a 5.3% increase in nonmetropolitan areas. The retail prices index rose by 3.9% over the same period. n


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“The pay rise has meant I was able to finish my driving lessons, pass my test and buy a car, which is a massive help. I’ve also been able to put more money away each month in savings so I’m looking to buy a home on the Help to Buy scheme soon.” David Jukowski-Wall, Customer Service Advisor National Express UK Coach

“Without being on the real Living Wage, my partner and I could have really struggled with getting our mortgage, buying a house and being able to start a family. It’s refreshing to have an employer who gives me the feeling they want to invest in me, my health, my wellbeing and my future – and not just get labour for the cheapest outlay in the short term.” Philip Walchester, Administrator National Express UK Bus

Stagecoach UKBUS Responsible. Sustainable. - Industry-leading value for money

- Finding innovative solutions

- Smart ticketing across the UK

- Delivering for customers every day

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Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, outlines a strategy for building bus use WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

The bus is facing strong headwinds. Despite its vital role supporting the economy, reducing pollution and providing essential access, bus patronage is declining. Whilst the headline stats are depressing there is, however, evidence of real growth in some areas, much innovation and huge opportunities for local economies to harness benefits of the bus. When we get it right, bus investment can deliver massive returns. We need a long-term bus investment strategy if we are to reverse this decline and maximise the role the bus can play in supporting jobs, growth and productivity. WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Overall bus patronage is declining with severe impacts on society, including damage to local economies and worsening congestion and pollution. There is a clear quantified link between access to bus services and levels of social deprivation. Buses provide crucial assess to employment, education and essential services. One in 10 bus commuters would have to look for another job or give up work altogether if they could no longer commute by bus. Buses are the primary means of access to city centres, facilitating 29% of city centre expenditure. There are many factors contributing to the decline in bus

patronage. These include: rising congestion, bus journey times and bus fares; disruptive changes, including more online shopping and delivery vehicles and private hire vehicles; the relatively low costs of motoring compared to public transport; and structural changes in the economy, including more part-time commuting, flexible working and home working. Congestion is both a major impact and cause of the decline in bus patronage and is dramatically worsening pollution. Buses are affected more detrimentally by congestion than any other mode. Since the 1960s, congestion has been causing bus speeds to slow down by on average 10% per decade, causing bus patronage to decline by 10-14%, and costing 5,000 jobs per year. Slower traffic speeds cause emissions to rise. In nose to tail traffic, tailpipe emissions are four times greater than in free flow traffic. Buses have been hit hard by the impact of online retailing. The increase in delivery vehicles is worsening traffic congestion which impacts severely on bus services. Bus patronage is also suffering because people are increasingly shopping online and making fewer trips to the high street. Uber and other “ride-hailing� car services are also luring people away from buses. The cost of public transport compares unfavourably with the car. Analysis for the RAC Foundation has shown that cost inflation for car (which includes fuel as well as insurance) has been lower than bus or train ticket inflation over a ten-year period. Increasing costs for road users is politically difficult, which is why fuel duty has been frozen for the past eight years, at a time of historically low oil prices and austerity. The potential of the bus to support local economies is not being realised. Funding for urban transport has not kept pace with

Buses are the primary means of access to city centres, facilitating spending

other transport funding and investment in bus is not part of strategic economic plans. Cities are unable to plan effectively, and lack the funding and structures needed to develop integrated strategies for transport, employment and housing. Cuts to local authority budgets have also severely impacted bus funding. Over the last eight years there has been a 45% reduction in funding for supported services. WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE?

We need to reverse decline in bus patronage and maximise the role the bus can play in supporting jobs, growth and productivity. This will help to support UK manufacturing and create jobs; alleviate congestion and improve air quality; support the decarbonisation of transport; reduce social deprivation; support our major capacity challenges; and, increase productivity and

support local economies. British bus manufacturing is already a success story. At least 80% of urban buses sold in the UK are built in the UK, compared with just 13% for cars. Putting bus at the centre of investment and plans for local transport would further support UK manufacturing and create more jobs. Already more than 170,000 people are employed by the bus and coach industry. Through its supply chain the bus industry creates a further 83,000 jobs. The bus sector spends ÂŁ2.5 billion in its supply chain. Buses should be a major part of the solution to air pollution and congestion. Real world testing of modern diesel buses demonstrates a 95% reduction in NOx emissions compared with previous models, and a double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road. A modern diesel bus produces fewer emissions overall than a modern


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Planning and investment in local bus networks will help unlock the value of new housing. New developments in urban centres can stimulate 50% more economic growth than similar developments located at the fringe, but these benefits will be diluted if traffic congestion can’t be controlled. Unless we provide more public transport options alongside new housing, we risk bringing local roads to a standstill. Improvements in bus services support training, employment and increase productivity. More people commute to work by bus than all other forms of public transport combined. 400,000 workers are in better more productive jobs as a direct result of bus services and the additional economic output they produce is worth £400m. A 10% improvement in bus journey times would mean 50,000 more people in work. HOW DO WE GET THERE?

diesel car despite having 15 to 20 times the carrying capacity. Buses should also play a central role in decarbonising transport. We have seen a revolution in clean bus technology – with more than 5,000 low carbon emission buses in operation. Modal switch will also be key to meeting our carbon reduction targets. If everyone switched just one car journey a month to bus, there would be a billion fewer car journeys on our roads and a saving of 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year. Buses play a major role in tackling social exclusion and deprivation. Nearly 1 in 4 people in the UK is at risk of social exclusion, and 1 in 4 households have no access to a car. Half of all workless households have no access to a car. A 10% improvement in local bus service connectivity can deliver a 3.6% reduction in social deprivation.

We will achieve the turnaround with a long-term bus investment strategy. This must include a funding commitment from central Government, and a commitment from bus operators and local authorities to work together to maximise the wider social, economic and environmental benefits of bus services. The strategy should include: Revenue support for bus 1 services. Local bus journeys form the huge majority of public transport journeys and provide essential access to work, education and training, healthcare and social activities. Revenue funding for bus services must be protected. The economic, social and environmental benefit for each £1 spent on bus revenue funding ranges from £2 to £3.80. Increased funding for local 2 transport. The next wave of major transport upgrades should focus on transport within towns and cities, to be provided to local transport authorities via stable devolved infrastructure budgets, which must ensure adequate provision for local bus infrastructure. Buses need to be fully aligned with local plans for growth; land use planning and


400,000 workers are in better more productive jobs as a direct result of bus services


the number of cars a double decker bus can take off the road


of UK urban buses are built and sold in the UK


people employed by the bus and coach industry


spent by the bus sector in its supply chain

new housing and plans to tackle air quality and congestion. Increased investment in 3 local bus infrastructure. Expenditure on bus capital projects is shown to generate considerable wider economic, social and environmental returns. Typical capital schemes generate £4.90 per £1 invested, and high performing schemes such as Crawley Fastway and Hampshire’s Eclipse generate returns of up to £8.10 per £1 invested. Modal switch from car to 4 sustainable transport. Bus operators, technology firms and local authorities need to form alliances to encourage service and product innovations, and to encourage the development of platforms such as Mobility as a Service to reduce car dependency. Demand management 5 measures to reduce traffic. Building new roads will not reduce traffic congestion. Typically, new roads lead to new journeys quickly filling up the additional space. The only solution is to make better use of existing road capacity through measures such as: road pricing; workplace parking levy; and city centre entry restrictions. As we look to the future, we must pay heed to lessons learnt from tried and tested approaches and protect the value of mass-transit. The basic challenge of urban transport will remain the same: there is simply not enough space in cities for everyone to travel by car. In achieving a long-term bus investment strategy, a collaborative approach will be required – one that brings all interest groups together in the recognition that they have much more to gain from working together. Local bus operators and local authorities need to be inextricably linked, and to work closely with bus users, bus suppliers, network planners, and wider interests such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, large employers, Business Improvement Districts and town centre managers. Thereby creating local bus networks that are directly relevant to the communities they serve and creating a virtuous circle of more bus users and better outcomes for society. n


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ADL and BYD support operators with site and route surveys for battery electric buses

A RANGE OF OPTIONS, A RELIABLE PARTNER Bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis offers a wide range of solutions and pledges to be a reliable and honest partner

lexander Dennis Limited (ADL) is the UK bus market leader and offers the widest range of low and zero emission buses including multiple options meeting the Ultra Low Emission Bus standard. However, the company defines itself as more than just a vehicle supplier and prides itself on its partnership approach with operators who are introducing new technologies and driving forward the passenger-


centric agenda. Alexander Dennis has long championed the roll-out of cleaner buses across the United Kingdom with its continuous improvement to existing technology and the development of new driveline solutions, to offer the solutions the market needs. Chief Executive Colin Robertson explains: “We do not believe there is a one-size-fits-all solution. Our customers have diverse operational requirements which favour different technologies in different places. Having a wide range of options in our portfolio, we are able to be technology agnostic and to focus

on being a reliable and honest partner to all our customers.” Equally important, says Robertson, is the work with industry bodies such as the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, which defines requirements for cleaner buses on behalf of the Department for Transport. “We have seen tremendous progress over the last years, going from Low Carbon Emission Buses (LCEB) to Low Emission Buses (LEB) and now Ultra Low Emission Buses (ULEB), each time raising the bar in terms of the environmental performance required of our vehicles.” The LCEB and LEB standards

are met with Alexander Dennis’s SmartPack efficient diesel and SmartHybrid mild hybrid technologies. Developed in-house, they offer a cost-effective solution to reducing emissions across large fleets and this has led to their widespread adoption by all major operators. The value this delivers to operators as well as to towns and cities has seen these efficient diesel technologies win a Scottish Transport Award and feature on the National Transport Awards shortlist. Working with Scania, the company also leads the market for biogas buses. But Alexander Dennis is not stopping there. Keith Watson, Customer Development Director, is following policy developments: “To further improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions, the government’s focus is shifting towards Ultra Low Emission Buses. These are defined by the LowCVP as having minimum 30% lower


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CO2-equivalent emissions than a comparable Euro 6 diesel bus, and there have been additional incentives for zero emission capability in the recently awarded Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme.” With Ultra Low Emission Buses expected to play an increasing role in the transport landscape of the UK, Alexander Dennis is ready to support bus operators with four ULEB options. The first is a full hybrid option in the Enviro400H, using BAE Systems Series-E diesel-electric hybrid technology. This was relaunched in mid-2018 with a new generation of electric motor as well as a switch to ultracapacitor energy storage which will not require mid-life component replacement. Arrive-and-Go functionality turns off the diesel engine at and near bus stops. Building on the full hybrid Enviro400H, the Extended Range version utilises the same BAE Systems driveline except for a larger battery energy storage system. Without any need for external charging infrastructure and with all electric energy generated on board, this gives a zero emission capability of up to six miles. This solution is the perfect choice for specific route profiles with defined geo-fenced zero emission areas. Zero emissions are the hallmark of the battery-electric buses which Alexander Dennis builds in collaboration with its Chinese partner BYD. The single deck BYD ADL Enviro200EV has led the UK market for electric buses since it was launched three years ago, and the double deck BYD ADL Enviro400EV is set to follow in just a few months. With large batteries designed only to be charged in the depot and a smart charging system to make the most of night-rate electricity, both partners are focused on fully supporting operators from the earliest stages of the implementation process for battery buses. Together with energy supply partners, this begins with site and route surveys to determine guaranteed range capabilities and culminates in the turnkey installation of

AD24 revolutionises online Aftermarket support


training videos, which detail how to maintain and service Alexander Dennis buses. The available content is constantly being expanded with additional tutorials to help operators maintain and improve their engineers’ skill base. Further reference is provided by product manuals, which can be accessed directly as well as downloaded along with any service bulletins issued by the manufacturer. Recently launched and already offering substantial functionality is Alexander Dennis’s vehicle solutions offering, AD Connected. This brings together compliance checks, diagnostics and workshop management as well as driver assistance solutions. Business intelligence capabilities enable operators to analyse their processes and costs, and to take a driving seat for their business growth. n AD24 is available to all UK operators at

The new AD24 digital offering provides a one-stop online access point for Alexander Dennis’s Aftermarket support. The new service aims to redefine aftermarket support with industryleading usability and a personalised user experience for customers, designed to offer an ideal solution for all of Alexander Dennis’s customers from the smallest private operators to large multinational groups. A 24/7 online parts shop is at the heart of AD24. Easy search functions for all makes’ parts are combined with powerful options to display frequently purchased or saved items, which Alexander Dennis says will make it easier than ever to source high quality, original spare parts for Alexander Dennis buses, Plaxton coaches and other OEMs’ vehicles. Online training is provided with

Hydrogen fuel cell is a new zero emission ADL option. Photo: Andrew Macintosh

infrastructure even in challenging locations, as the BYD ADL partnership has repeatedly demonstrated in existing, spaceconstrained bus garages. Hydrogen fuel cell technology may offer a longer-range option where suitable infrastructure can be put in place with sustainably sourced hydrogen. No external battery charging is required. As this could offer particular benefits for high capacity double deckers, Alexander Dennis and partner Arcola Energy have integrated this into a prototype Enviro400 which has undergone two years of testing and successive design iterations to deliver what the companies believe is best-in-class fuel economy. Here, too, Alexander Dennis’s collaborative approach is apparent as it works with cities, bus operators and other stakeholders around the UK to further explore the potential for hydrogen fuel cell buses through fleet trials. Keith Watson says: “What we offer to bus operators and councils is an unbiased look at the different ultra low and zero emission technologies available, and we square this with local requirements and possibilities to find the best solution for each individual case.” Alexander Dennis’s role does not stop with the delivery of vehicles. Colin Robertson takes up the narrative: “Our customers need reliable buses and that is what we give them. We set ourselves the highest standards for reliability for all products and technologies. New technologies can be challenging, but by collaborating closely with our technology partners as well as operators, we are able to work as one team and deliver the best results.” “It goes without saying that everything we sell is backed up by our best-in-class Aftermarket support. Our buses are designed to be assets with long, productive working lives. We will be there to support them throughout their lifetime and we have just made it easier for operators to find all relevant resources and to order original spare parts with our new AD24 digital Aftermarket platform.” n


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Looking for a mobility solution that is flexible, on-demand and shared? ArrivaClick is now operational in multiple locations across the UK, it combines the operational expertise of Arriva with the latest ridesharing technology. ArrivaClick is an app-based service which operates using fully flexible routing. Vehicles collect passengers from safe virtual bus stops, never more than a few hundred yards from their requested pick-up locations. Arriva aims to be the mobility partner of choice for local authorities, developers, businesses and the public. With ArrivaClick, we are looking for partnership opportunities to integrate and complement into local public transport networks.

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ArrivaClick combines the cost-effectiveness of bus travel with the convenience of a taxi

A SMART SECTOR NEEDS SMART SOLUTIONS Arriva explains how it is seeking to understand the needs of its customers, and meet them

uses are not just a mode of transport: they serve a fundamental need in society by connecting people and places. It is therefore incumbent on all of us - bus operators, government and others - to encourage more people out of their cars and onto public transport. To do this, we need to better understand the needs and expectations of our customers and put these at the front and centre of everything we do. With this in mind, Arriva conducts insights research with those who frequently, occasionally or never use bus services. They tell us that above all else, they prioritise certainty and convenience in deciding if and how to make a journey by bus. Getting the basics right - guaranteeing good


punctuality and sufficient frequency - is of course vital. Attributes associated with convenience - the location of a bus stop and seat availability for instance - are also important considerations. Bus operators cannot deliver on these expectations alone of course and we need to work with partners - local authorities, Metro Mayors and central government - to invest in bus priority measures, tackle congestion hot spots and help us to deliver the punctual and reliable journeys our customers expect. However, there is also an important role for smart technology to play in providing greater certainty and convenience for customers. Smart technology has the potential to bring the bus sector closer to its customers and enable us to better understand their expectations and respond to their needs. It provides the opportunity to get ongoing customer feedback to help us improve our customers’ journeys and ensure our networks

and services match up against their needs. In the longer term, digitalisation could also help spur ‘Mobility as a Service’ models allowing seamless payment and booking integration, all from the convenience of a smartphone. So how do we seize the opportunities presented by smart technology? Firstly, we need to get fully behind the open data proposals in the Bus Services Act 2017 to give people greater confidence in planning their journeys and greater certainty of when their bus is going to arrive. Arriva already shares its timetable, route and

“Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) puts control in the hands of customers by using an app on which they can book, pay for and track their journey”

real time information via its own website and app, as well as with local authority partners and third parties like Google. The benefit of having a consistent approach to open data across the bus industry - as proposed by the Department for Transport - will help empower customers, allowing them to make the best choices for their needs and circumstances, saving them time, hassle and money. Secondly, we need to continue the transition towards cashless payment and put an end to the perception that not having “the right change” is a barrier to taking the bus. Contactless payment is becoming a given in the retail sector and it’s what customers now expect on bus services too. Arriva is in the process of rolling out contactless payment on 3,500 of its buses with customers able to enjoy the benefits by summer 2019. Not only does this take the hassle out of paying for the bus but it also cuts boarding times and therefore speeds up journeys. Finally, we need to fully embrace new Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) models like the pioneering ArrivaClick, which was launched in Liverpool last year. This is already proving a real game-changer by combining the cost-effectiveness of bus travel with the convenience of a taxi. DRT puts control in the hands of customers by using an app on which they can book, pay for and track their journey. Embracing smart technology could lead to new opportunities for local authorities and policymakers to deliver integrated transport solutions. DRT can cover a far larger geographical area than a linear route would be able to. This not only delivers more certain and more convenient journeys for passengers, but can also be more cost effective for local government, particularly if commercial services can be blended with supported transport provision like non-emergency patient transport, community transport and education transport. Partnership working between bus operators and local partners will help to make smart transport solutions a reality. n


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When it comes to making changes we’re putting our customers first

At First Bus we’re making travelling with us better for our customers by: • Championing digital payment channels • Focusing on real-time customer feedback • Improving our apps • Continuing to work collaboratively with our partners • Investing in new, low emission buses & improved infrastructure

bus summit BI ad186.134.indd 1

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DRIVING CHANGE FOR TOMORROW Leeds for people who live, work in and visit the city; to double passenger numbers over the next decade. The City Council is getting stuck in, making a multimillion pound investment in the highway network to deliver a reduction in bus journey times and improved reliability, through new segregated bus corridors, real time information for passengers, more park and ride and better bus circulation in the city centre. For our part, we are delivering an investment of £71m in 284 new vehicles that meet the Low Emission Zone requirements. None of this is easy, but the commitment shown by all partners is genuinely impressive.


Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus reflects on some key achievements from 2018

he challenges facing the bus sector remain considerable. Congestion continues to be the biggest threat to the bus industry and it’s vital that we continue to address this head-on. First is playing its part by putting the power of new technology at the heart of everything we do, making bus travel simple, speeding up bus boarding times, reducing journey times, using data to make better operational decisions and developing a customer relationship as opposed to a transactional one. Looking back over 2018, there are definite reasons for optimism.


First Bus is committed to advancing partnerships, everywhere we operate. By working together, local authorities and bus operators can make a real impact on congestion and air quality, provide better services for our customers, support local economies and ultimately increase passenger numbers. These are all parts of a virtuous circle: more passengers means fewer cars on the road, less congestion and, in turn, improved air quality. At last I sense real ambition in the air. Leeds is one of the flagships of our new approach with partners - sharing a common objective to transform travel in


Over the past year we have focussed on providing customers with simpler journeys and better information through investment in digital mobile and contactless ticketing. We’re proud to be the first bus operator of this size to offer contactless nationally, after introducing new Ticketer machines across 5,800 of our vehicles. Nationally over 35% of ticketing revenue is now via mTicket and contactless, with Aberdeen and West of England both seeing well over 50%. We have recently passed 14 million contactless transactions, with over 500,000 new transactions a week and use of mTickets is exceeding our expectations with year-on-year growth of over 60%.

Last year, First Bus invested £14m in 75 new Euro 6 vehicles for Glasgow

First Bus is proud to be the first bus operator of this size to offer contactless nationally

The Connectivity Commission in Glasgow is similarly charting the way forward to a better future for bus. First is committed to playing its full part in delivering Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone; the year one target has been achieved through a £14m investment in 75 new Euro 6 vehicles and Glasgow City Council is beginning work on a step-change in bus priority. Much more will follow in 2019. The Transforming Cities Fund in England is seeking to spread the energy and ambition seen in Leeds. The competitive element promises £1.2bn for 12 cities over the next four years; First is active in seven. It is essential that bus takes the lion share of this. There is the real prospect of a gamechanger, watch this space! INVESTMENT IN CLEANER, GREENER BUSES

Bus is very much part of the solution to air quality issues as well as being part of the problem. Local authority and operator plans for action on clean air are starting to take shape. As our vehicles come to the end of their lives, we are replacing them with the latest low-emission vehicles. We believe Euro 6 diesel engines are the eco-friendliest buses available for mass deployment, right now, offering 95% to 99% reductions in Nitrogen Oxide and particulates compared to the older buses they replace. Newer pre-Euro 6 vehicles can be retrofitted to the higher standard - First has 517 retrofits on order, with more to come. It is also important that we seize the opportunity to prioritise bus and secure an air quality win-win, by encouraging people to switch from travelling by car to bus. One double decker can take 75 cars off the road. At the same time, we are getting ready for a low-carbon and zero-emission future. First is learning from its operation of biogas (Bristol), electric (York) and hydrogen (Aberdeen) buses so we are ready to switch to alternative power sources when this starts to become affordable and operationally viable. n


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SHAPING THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORT Go-Ahead Group launched a range of ground-breaking new transport initiatives in 2018

assenger and customer needs are changing and the Go-Ahead Group is changing with them. To remain relevant to its customers and to stay in tune with the changing expectations in the transport sector, the group is seeking new ways to use its skills, knowledge and assets to create growth and make its services the choice for customers. Go-Ahead is always exploring a range of solutions and working on a number of initiatives to make public transport a clear and simple choice. Last year saw the unveiling of four exciting initiatives which support this goal.


ABOVE: The Billion Journey Project offers start-ups mentoring from industry leaders. BELOW LEFT: PickMeUp. BELOW RIGHT: Go-Ahead Group has a 12% stake in Mobileeee

Go-Ahead is one of the largest operators of electric buses in Europe, including the UK’s first all-electric bus garage, in Waterloo, central London. Now it has also entered the world of electric cars. In February 2018, Go-Ahead announced that it had acquired a 12% stake in Mobileeee, the Frankfurt-based car-sharing company. This award winning company offers electric car sharing, carpool management, fleet solutions and fleet management. Members using Mobileeee can book electric cars on an hourly or daily rate. The four e’s in Mobileeee’s name refer to their customers’ easy, efficient, emissions-free experience. “Rather than seeing businesses like Mobileeee as rivals, we think this is an exciting new business that complements Go-Ahead’s vision of building cities with sustainable, smart and environmentally friendly transport,” said Go-Ahead Group chief executive David Brown. THE BILLION JOURNEY PROJECT


Experts estimate that the UK’s ride-sharing market will be worth £2.6bn by 2022 and Go-Ahead firmly believes that it is part of the solution to congestion and pollution in towns and cities. In June 2018, the group launched its own ambitious ride-sharing service. PickMeUp allows passengers to use a mobile app to summon a bus to pick them up on a street corner of their choice. Piloted by group subsidiary Oxford Bus Company, PickMeUp aims to meet the changing needs of people in parts of the city where passenger numbers increase sharply at certain times of day, making it more difficult to manage through scheduled services. The new concept is operated by a £1m fleet of eight 17-seat minibuses, equipped with free Wi-Fi, USB charging points, wheelchair access and comfortable high-back seating. Technology for the service has been developed in partnership with Via, a US-based leader in ride-sharing technology.


ABOVE: Bluestar's pollution-busting bus is cleaning the air on Southampton's streets

as the vehicle is in motion. The trial vehicle entered service with group subsidiary Bluestar in Southampton. It is equipped with a specially designed filter that removes ultrafine particles from the air and traps them as the bus moves through the streets. The filter then allows the bus to blow out purer air so that the air behind it is cleaner than in front of it! Southampton was chosen for the pilot as the World Health Organisation has revealed that is at its limit of unsafe air pollution.


Air pollution causes almost 500,000 premature deaths in Europe every year. In the UK, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs estimates that particulate air pollution reduces the life expectancy of residents by six months on average. Go-Ahead Group is developing solutions to the problem. In September 2018, the group launched a trial of a special filter fitted to a bus that aims to clean the air around the bus

In July 2018, Go-Ahead launched the Billion Journey Project, a new accelerator lab programme. The largest of its kind in the UK, the 12-week programme was developed with the ambition of helping start-ups and scale-ups implement their product across the bus and rail industries. The ultimate aim is to improve the passenger experience across the 1.3 billion journeys that take place on Go-Ahead services every year. Based at Huckletree West in London, the programme is initially nurturing 10 companies. “The project supports start-ups with mentoring from industry leaders, access to Go-Ahead data, and the opportunity to build invaluable relationships, getting under the hood of the UK’s leading public transport provider,” said David Gornall, Go-Ahead’s innovation lead. “But in return, we get to learn from some of the most dynamic young businesses out there and join them in exploring exactly what the future of transport looks like.” n


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A huge thank you to all of our members and supporters for their outstanding support during our first 20 years! Together with you, we’re proud to be transforming lives through safe, available, and sustainable transport.
















UK registered charity no. 1072105

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FACILITIES Patron HRH The Princess Royal

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Initially, the Real Living Wage was brought in at National Express Group’s West Midlands and Dundee bus companies

NEG COMPLETES REAL LIVING WAGE PLEDGE Group believes the policy has delivered tangible benefits for the business as a whole

n 2015, National Express Group became the first private sector transport group to make a commitment that its entire UK workforce would be paid at least the Real Living Wage. This autumn, it completed the final stage of the roll out. Initially, the change was brought in at NEG’s West Midlands and Dundee bus companies in January 2016 where 350 staff received a pay increase. The policy was extended to directly employed coach staff at the start of this year and has now been introduced across the coach division following discussions with companies operating National Express contracts. As a result, the whole of National Express’s UK business has received accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation. As part of the accreditation,


NEG must ensure all contract and agency staff receive the Real Living Wage for the hours spent on National Express work. The group has also introduced a policy of paying at least 10% above legal minimum wage requirements at its international companies. In the UK, it means 600 employees including administrators, cleaners, customer service staff and call centre operators have benefited and are being paid more than £1 per hour above the statutory minimum rate. All staff receive at least £8.75 per hour (£10.20 in London), compared to the government’s statutory wage of £7.83 for people aged over 25 and £7.38 or less for under 25s. The difference between the Real Living Wage, recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, and the statutory minimum reflects the foundation’s assessments of income needed for a decent lifestyle, taking account of factors such as rent, council tax and travel.

When making the decision to commit to the policy three years ago, National Express’s view was that the cost of higher wages could be absorbed by its companies through efficiencies. At the same time, it was expected that the benefits for staff would be disproportionately greater and that there would be knock-on positive effects. NEG policy and external affairs director Anthony Vigor says this has proved to be the case. “Our starting point was that it was the right thing to do,” he says, “and we have seen that it has made a real difference to people.” Comments from a number of employees highlighted by the

“In the UK, it means 600 employees have benefitted and are being paid more than £1 per hour above the statutory minimum rate”

Living Wage Foundation and NEG show that the impact on employees’ lives include enabling people to obtain a mortgage and take driving lessons. For others, it has provided spare money to start saving or take grandchildren out to dinner. An issue that Vigor says is sometimes raised with him is whether the decision to pay wages above the market rate is effectively being subsidised by passengers’ bus and coach fares. Most recently it was brought up in an interview on national radio during November’s Living Wage Week which the foundation holds each year to publicise its work. His answer is that NEG anticipated from the start that paying the Real Living Wage would not have any adverse impact on wider decisions. “In businesses the size of our bus and coach divisions the cost is relatively small, certainly compared to turnover. So it hasn’t affected what we have done on pricing at all, or investment,” he says. “You can see that because we have reduced bus fares in a number of areas in the West Midlands, and also on coach routes in 2018.” As the Real Living Wage policy has bedded in, there have also been tangible benefits for the business as a whole. In line with wider research carried out by the foundation, Vigor says that it has raised the standard of job applicants, reduced the cost of recruitment because staff stay longer and led to improvements in customer service. The business has retained valued staff and job satisfaction overall has improved, reflected in comments from staff that they appreciate the company has decided “not to pay the minimum it can get away with”. While implementing the policy in the UK bus business was achieved rapidly, the structure of NEG’s coaching business meant it was relatively complex due to the need to translate it into contractors’ businesses. The arrangements mean that all their staff will be paid the Real Living Wage when working on NEG contracts by 2020 at the latest. n


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Optare electric buses are going further towards a zero emission future

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Mark Threapleton, Stagecoach UK Bus Managing Director, England & Wales, outlines his vision for bus

hese days, probably more than ever, there is considerable focus on public transport – be it buses, trains, aircraft or taxis – and the ways it can deliver on a number of fronts including economic and environmental goals and delivering increased mobility and connectivity for people across the country. Consumers are in the driving seat, demanding convenience and flexibility and the challenge to transport operators and policy makers is to develop solutions that meet these increased demands. There is a tension in transport policy in that many consumers are unwilling or unable to give up their primary form of transport, the private car, but it’s also clear that the private car can often be the least convenient way to get around in urban areas. Cities and their surrounding communities face ever-growing populations, congestion and air pollution challenges. We know that car congestion on UK roads coasts the economy more than £13bn a year and each year in the UK around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution. At Stagecoach, we recognise that the way people lead their lives, and the world itself, is changing. And we believe it’s


customer journeys each year, has developed a policy solution to address many of today’s challenges. In March, the UK Government announced a Clean Air Fund worth more than £260m that will be made available to local authorities to tackle roadside NOx concentrations. By trading in old diesel vehicles, local people will be given ‘mobility credits’ in exchange, that they can then choose to spend on a range of clean and efficient modes of transport in a flexible way that suits their lives. Through the Urban Mobility Partnership scheme, using a pre-paid card, people will be able to use their credits on trains, buses, daily car rental, boats and bikes, or they can choose to replace their previous car with another privately owned vehicle. The key is that they have the choice to be flexible

essential that transport is placed at the heart of plans to meet continuing social, economic and environmental challenges. We don’t have all of the answers but we are taking action, and trying new things, to do what we can to influence positive policy change. We firmly believe that the on-going regulatory and ownership debates are “sideshows” to the real issues. Travel is a derived demand, and changes to patronage arise from changes in the wider environment. The key to stemming decline is not to dramatically change the model, but to take measures that improve the attractiveness of public transport through practical changes to tackle key issues like congestion. Measures like Workplace Parking Levies are starting to be discussed, which is positive, and allied to enlightened policies on parking charges and provision can start to make a difference. In September, we launched the Urban Mobility Partnership with vehicle rental company Enterprise. The partnership, whose members are responsible for over one billion

Dr Nick Small, Stagecoach UK Bus Head of Strategic Development and the Built Environment receiving our UK Bus Award for the Bus Services in New Residential Developments guidance that he devised

Stagcoach buses on the Forth Road Bridge public transport corridor

if they choose to and we believe that as well as getting people out of older polluting vehicles, this scheme will help encourage people to think differently about how they travel and form new habits. Another key area for the future of transport policy is the inclusion of transport planning in the building of new retail and residential developments. We cannot allow mobility to be a secondary or forgotten issue in the planning process. As such, we employ a skilled planner, who is available to work with local authorities and developers to try to ensure that planning matters take bus and coach access into account from the very early stages. In 2017, we published our own guidance “Bus Services and New Residential Developments” to package the core principles in a format immediately accessible to both professionals and the wider community. The document was sent out to a wide database of local councils and development industry stakeholders across England, Scotland and Wales and included information and guidance around highways design and specification, bus stops and supporting infrastructure and parking provision on bus routes. We were pleased and encouraged to see that a number of our recommendations were included in the newly revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) issued by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government earlier this year. The new guidance places public transport at the forefront of planning in England, but the key is consistently applying the new policy. The reality is that, in a world that is better connected than ever in many ways, there are still too many disjointed parts. For too long we have approached different parts of the transport network in isolation – now we need to develop a more joined-up way of delivering our services and find transport policy solutions that place the consumer at their heart. ■


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WHAT DO BUS PASSENGERS WANT? The Bus Passenger Survey and other work by Transport Focus puts the industry under the microscope

ast year Transport Focus published the results of the biggest ever Bus Passenger Survey. Almost 48,000 bus passengers rated their bus journeys across Great Britain. The detail captured about passengers’ journeys is what makes the survey unique and powerful. The headline results and stories in England (outside of London) told us that: n overall passenger satisfaction with journeys came in at 88 per cent; n 65 per cent of passengers were satisfied that their trip provided value for money; n 73 per cent of passengers were satisfied with the punctuality of their service; and n once on the bus, 84 per cent of passengers were satisfied with the journey time. When asked about the things that could be improved, passengers told us that punctual services were their biggest priority for improvement. Transport Focus knows a lot of work is being done in some areas to help buses move more freely around our towns and cities. Over recent years the survey has tracked a gradual decline in satisfaction with the punctuality and timeliness of passengers’ journeys. Though the 2018 publication noted an arrest in the decline in satisfaction in England (outside of London), the overall figure masked some significant improvements in satisfaction with punctuality and timeliness of trips in cities like Manchester for example. What will the latest set of results show for cities like Bristol and Manchester when published in March 2019? Buses deserve to be part of a wider coherent plan and provided


Almost 48,000 passengers rated their bus journeys last year with Transport Focus

with their fair share of funding to improve operational performance but also to help tackle the air quality and congestion challenges facing many parts of the country today. Only then will we see the true value of what the bus can deliver to local communities. The survey also helps identify the key factors that help deliver that ‘good’ and much sought-after ‘great’ passenger journey. As in recent years the

helpfulness, positive attitude and driving standards of the bus driver have a significant impact on both the ‘good’ and ‘great’ journeys. It was therefore reassuring to note that passenger satisfaction with all the related measures on the bus driver have shown a slight improvement. Is the time and investment in supporting and training drivers by the industry starting to reap some reward for passengers? More young people use the bus than any other single group of passengers. Transport Focus research Using the bus: What young people think in 2018 set out five clear actions for the industry to improve services for this important group and, in turn, convince them to be the long-term,

“In the UK, it means 600 employees have benefited and are being paid more than £1 per hour above the statutory minimum rate”

loyal passengers of the future. The manifesto for young bus passengers was strikingly clear from our research: n they don’t feel services are designed with them in mind or that enough is being done to encourage them and make them feel valued; n not knowing how the system works or what to do is a barrier and a source of anxiety about ‘getting it right’; n improving the journey experience is important; young people notice poor quality provision; n there is a need to design systems better; learning from other industries in the way they appeal to young people; and n fares for young people are confusing and inconsistent. In early 2019 Transport Focus will run a series of workshops to share findings from this important piece of insight and collate examples of work being done by the industry to engage with young people. The discussions will also help identify challenges and generate ideas about how the industry can improve the experience for young people. The aim is to pull together a report to share with governments, the bus industry and stakeholders. Looking to the future, Transport Focus has also been keeping an eye on some interesting developments in demand-led travel. The Oxford Bus Company followed in the footsteps of Arriva and others by launching an ondemand app-based bus service. Convincing people to download the right app will be key. Our work on young people and bus showed the desire to simplify information sources and booking processes. One young bus passenger told us “an app had to earn a place on his phone”. He did not want more than one transport app to help him buy, plan and track his journeys. A great challenge to us all in transport! n


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THE NEXT 100. CHALLENGE THE IMPOSSIBLE. For 100 years, we have defined ourselves by our unwavering values and promise of innovation and dependability. We have led our industry by consistently turning challenges into opportunities. In the next 100 years, we will continue to defy boundaries and unleash our ingenuity in a world hungry for new power solutions. We will create opportunity for our people, our customers, our communities and the planet we share. We will discover what is possible, because we will challenge the impossible.

Cummins Care. Always On. For service & support, please email:

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OUR SPEAKERS Addressing the future of local bus services in the UK P RO F DAV I D B EG G

Chief Executive, Transport Times (Chair) Professor David Begg is Chief Executive of Portobello Partnership Ltd which specialises in strategic advice to clients in the transport sector; publishes Transport Times and runs a series of transport best practice awards in partnership with the Department for Transport, Transport Scotland, Transport for London and Transport for the North. He is a non-executive board member of Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd, a member of the Cubic Transportation Systems’ Advisory Board and chairs EAMS Group. From 1999 to 2005 he chaired the Government’s Commission for Integrated Transport, which was set up to advise the Government on transport policy and to monitor performance. He was a board member of Transport for London from 2000 to 2006 before joining Tube Lines as chairman (20062010). He was a non-executive director of the Strategic Rail Authority and before that British Rail. From 2005-2014 David was a Non-Executive Director of First Group Ltd. Before moving to London he was Professor of Transport Policy at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. He is a Visiting Professor in Transport at Plymouth University. In the 1990s he was the political lead on transport on Lothian Region and then the City of Edinburgh councils. N US RAT G H A N I


Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Nusrat Ghani MP was appointed


He was re-elected in May 2011 and thereafter appointed as Minister for Public Health. Prior to this, Matheson was Vice Convenor of the European and External Relations Committee. He also sat on the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, and previously served on the Justice and Enterprise and Culture Committees. Matheson was then appointed Cabinet Secretary for Justice in November 2014 and reappointed in May 2016.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and Assistant Government Whip on 9 January 2018. She was elected Conservative MP for Wealden in 2015. Nusrat was the first woman in her family to be formally educated. She attended state comprehensive school before studying at Birmingham City University (BA Government and Politics) and Leeds University (MA International Relations). Nusrat was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Office in 2017. She also served as the Chair of the Prime Minister’s Apprenticeship Diversity Network. The minister is responsible for accessibility across all transport modes, buses and taxis, high speed rail (HS2), maritime, skills and apprenticeships and the Year of Engineering. M ICHA EL M ATHESO N


Deputy Secretary for the Department for Infrastructure, Northern Ireland John McGrath is a career civil servant. He spent a number of years in the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. In 2003 he moved to the Department for Social Development as Deputy Secretary for Urban Regeneration and Community Development. Then in 2008 he moved to the Department of Education where he was responsible for a number of areas including finance and HR. John joined the then Department for Regional Development in January 2014. He had responsibility for the development of transportation and water policy; the delivery of strategic transport planning, policy and legislation, as well as oversight of the Regional Development Strategy. Following the establishment of the Department for Infrastructure in May 2016 John leads the Transport and Resources Group. This covers transport policy and planning, public transport (including oversight of Translink), safe and sustainable travel; ports and airports; and also Waterways Ireland. In addition, John is responsible for Departmental Finance and Corporate Services.


Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Scottish Government Michael Matheson was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity in June 2018. He was born in Glasgow in 1970 and educated at St John Bosco Secondary School. He went on to study at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, where he obtained a BSc in Occupational Therapy. He also holds a BA and a Diploma in Applied Social Sciences from the Open University. Prior to becoming an MSP, Mr Matheson practised as a Community Occupational Therapist with Stirling Council, Central Regional Council, and Highland Regional Council. He was elected as the MSP for Falkirk West following the May 2007 elections. Previous to that he was a Regional MSP for Central Scotland from 1999 to 2007.

Chief Executive, Go-Ahead David Brown is Group Chief Executive of The Go-Ahead Group, one of the UK’s leading public transport providers. The Group, which was established 30 years ago, now employs some 28,000 people and carries more than one billion passengers each year on its trains and buses. Go-Ahead’s rail operation is the busiest in the UK, responsible for around 30% of all train passenger journeys. It is a leading bus operator in the UK, both in and outside London, with more than two million passenger journeys being made on its services every day. It operates buses in Singapore and has also won rail contracts in Germany and bus contracts in Ireland. David has held a number of senior positions in the transport industry including Chief Executive of Go-Ahead’s London Bus division and MD for Surface Transport at Transport for London. At TfL he had a diverse range of responsibilities including London Buses and the Red Route road network, congestion charging, and the introduction of the capital’s cycle hire scheme. He has 35 years’ experience working across both the public and private sectors delivering transport solutions. David is also a board member of the Rail Delivery Group. CL AIRE H AIGH

Chief Executive, Greener Journeys (Chair) Claire Haigh is Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, a coalition of the UK’s major public transport groups and other supporters, committed to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. She is the Executive Director of the Transport Knowledge Hub; and a Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. She also chairs the Delivery & Impacts Independent Review Panel for the Government’s Joint Air Quality


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Unit (DfT/Defra); and, has been an Advisor and Board Member of Transport for Greater Manchester. Previously she was Project Director for Journey Solutions, where she was responsible for PLUSBUS. Other previous roles include Sales Director for Chameleon Press; and, Account Executive for advertising agency DDB. She read History and German at Magdalen College Oxford. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce. P ET E BO ND

Director of Integrated Network Services, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) / West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Pete has worked in transport for nearly 30 years including freight, shipping, logistics, and events and is a former time served London bus driver. Pete was appointed Director of Transport Services and subsequently Integrated Network Services at TfWM in December 2015. Prior to this in 2006, Pete was the Head of Network Delivery at Centro. Today Pete is responsible for overseeing the relationship with bus operators and highway authorities on bus measures, all bus stations and travel shops, the management and maintenance of the 12,200 bus stops and shelters within the West Midlands region, corporate health and safety for the wider West Midlands Combined Authority and management of railway station car parks. Pete is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport and holds a PCV licence. TOM STABLES

Managing Director, National Express Tom was appointed Managing Director UK and Germany in

Anthony worked for five years as principal consumer lawyer for the Consumers’ Association, publishers of Which? This was followed by a year as the legal consultant for Consumers International, a worldwide federation of consumer groups. Prior to joining Transport Focus, Anthony was deputy and acting director of ICSTIS, the regulator of premium rate telephone services

April 2017 with responsibility for the UK Bus and Coach divisions as well as the German Rail business. He joined National Express in 2011 as Group Business Development Director and was appointed Managing Director UK Coach in November 2012, also taking on National Express Rail in January 2017. In July 2017 Tom was appointed Managing Director UK Bus. Before joining National Express, Tom was Senior Vice President, Commercial Development, for FirstGroup America, with responsibility for building the commercial contracting capability of the business. Previously he held a number of roles at First Great Western Trains including two years on the board as Commercial Director.


Chair, Merseytravel Councillor Liam Robinson is a Liverpool City Councillor, who has represented the Kensington and Fairfield Ward since 2008. He was elected Chair of Merseytravel in June 2012. Liam has key roles in strategic transport groups, ensuring the Liverpool City Region is at the ‘top table’ when it comes to influencing and decision making on a regional and national basis. He is city region representative on the Transport for the North board and Chairs the Rail North Limited board. Making public transport more affordable, particularly for young people, is a key focus for Liam. He has championed the introduction of reduced bus fares for all young people up to their 19th birthday. The development of a bus strategy, through focused collaboration to grow patronage, has been introduced under his chairmanship. Liam grew up in Cheshire and studied politics at Manchester University. He has held a number of management positions in the bus, coach and rail sectors including managing three of Britain’s largest railway stations: Liverpool Lime Street, London Liverpool Street and Sheffield.


Managing Director – Surface Transport, Transport for London Gareth Powell has been Managing Director, Surface Transport at Transport for London since 2017. He has overall responsibility for the safe day-to-day operation and improvement of London’s bus network, roads, the Overground rail network, trams, the Docklands Light Railway, cycle hire, and for congestion and emissions charging. Since joining TfL from consultancy firm Atkins in 2003, Gareth has delivered significant change, innovation and service improvement in a range of senior roles, including Director of Business Planning & Performance, Director of Strategy & Service Development at London Underground, and Director of Public Transport & TfL Strategy. A N THON Y S M ITH

Chief Executive, Transport Focus (Chair) Anthony Smith is Chief Executive of Transport Focus, the independent consumer watchdog for Britain’s passengers. Having qualified as a solicitor,


Managing Director – UK Bus, FirstGroup Giles Fearnley has been Managing Director of First Group’s UK Bus

Division since February 2011. In 1991 he led a management buy-out of Blazefield Holdings which operated bus networks principally across Yorkshire and Lancashire. He remained as Chief Executive for two years following the group’s sale to Transdev plc in 2006. In the mid 90’s Giles took a “sabbatical” from the bus industry into rail and was one of the founders of Prism Rail plc, which operated four UK passenger rail franchises. He was appointed as Chief Executive and led the Group prior to the sale in 2000 to National Express. He then served as Chairman of Grand Central, the open access rail operator, prior to its sale to BB in 2011. At various times, Giles has served as Chairman of the Association of Train Operating Companies and President and then Chairman until 2011, of the Confederation of Passenger Transport. PETE F E RGUSON

CEO, Prospective As CEO of Prospective, Pete leads a team of data scientists, software engineers and transport experts from UCL, Cambridge and the Alan Turing Institute in the development of a cloud platform for urban planning. Backed by the UK Government following a national competition, the company has developed a continuously up to date picture of the UK’s transport network, development supply and land use activity and the tools to quickly process and analyse this data at scale. Pete has been working across the transport, real estate and planning sectors for 12 years with a focus on the development and application of novel data analytics and modelling tools. He is an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL where he is undertaking doctoral research in network science and where he has published widely on the impacts of transport network design on energy consumption and carbon emissions in cities.


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Leader, Wolverhampton City Council Roger is the Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Wolverhampton Labour Group and was first elected in 1983. As Leader Roger is also the Chair of the Cabinet, the decision making body at the Council. Prior to being elected to St Peter’s ward Roger worked for Sandwell MBC and as a researcher for a number of universities. He was educated at Millbrook School, New York and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Roger has an MA in Community Studies from Keele, and an MSc in Policy Studies from Bristol. He has a D Soc Sci from the University of Bristol for a study of Cross Border Collaboration in Central and Eastern Europe. He is the transport lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

in Antenatal Education, and works part time for the national parenting charity, NCT. Anna was elected as a councillor in Langside, Glasgow in 2015, and re-elected in 2017. She currently holds the position of City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction.

brought up in the Lozells neighbourhood in Birmingham, the area he represents, Councillor Waseem Zaffar was for many years a local magistrate, as well as the CEO of a local not-for-profit organisation. In May 2018, Waseem was appointed Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council. This brings together the responsibilities for: sustainable transport policy and strategy to improve connectivity and safety across all modes of travel; while working with partners to develop liveability and environmental improvement for Birmingham.Waseem is also a Non-Executive Director at the Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust where he chairs the Charity Funds Committee.

current and future European emissions and CO2 regulations for heavy duty vehicles though his participation in a range of regulator and stakeholder groups. ROBERT DREW E RY

City Convener for Sustainability & Carbon Reduction, Glasgow City Council Anna Richardson graduated with an MA (hons) in Geography in 2001, and an MSc in Human Resources in 2005, as well as spending several years working in the public sector, in administrative roles. She has since gained a HND

Director of Certification & Compliance, Cummins Europe Peter’s career at Cummins started in 1995; the first 10 years or so of his career was spent developing the combustion, performance and emissions of European on-highway and nonroad products at Cummins’ European Technical Centre in Darlington. A number of the engine families developed during this time are still on the road on truck and bus products throughout the UK and Europe. Peter now leads the team within Cummins that is responsible for regulatory affairs, type approval and emissions compliance of Cummins products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Having particular focus on regulatory affairs, he has been directly involved in the development of

Commercial Director, Optare Robert has over 15 years of senior level national and international sales and marketing experience gained within the bus and commercial vehicle industries. Robert’s career in the commercial vehicle and bus industry started with Leyland DAF. More recently Robert led the Wrightbus sales team to win a number of major UK and international contracts supplying Wrightbus products. Robert also oversaw the introduction and support of the New Routemaster. Over the last 18 months at Optare, Robert has been focused on engaging with operators across the UK to the deliver an extensive demonstration programme for the new double deck product and extended range electric buses. He has also used his international sales experience to help expand Optare’s presence in overseas markets, in particular Australia and South East Asia.

0 8 : 30 – 0 9 : 20

1 1 :00 – 1 1 :3 0

13:30 – 14:45

15 :15 – 16 :30


Refreshment Break

0 9 : 20 – 1 1 : 0 0

1 1 :3 0 – 1 2:3 0

Keynote Address & Session 1: Learning lessons from across the UK Chaired by Prof. David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times n Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport n Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Scottish Government n John McGrath, Deputy Secretary for the Department for Infrastructure, Northern Ireland n David Brown, Chief Executive, Go-Ahead

Session 2: Why buses are central to “The Future of Mobility” Chaired by Prof. David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times n Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys n Pete Bond, Director of Integrated Network Services, Transport for West Midlands n Gareth Powell, Managing Director – Surface Transport, Transport for London n Tom Stables, Managing Director, National Express (invited)

Session 3: Getting passengers on board buses – how to remove the barriers Chaired by Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus n Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair, Merseytravel n Iain Jago, Managing Director – UK Bus, Arriva (invited) n Giles Fearnley, Managing Director – UK Bus, FirstGroup n Pete Ferguson, CEO, Prospective n Cllr Roger Lawrence, Leader, Wolverhampton City Council

Session 4: Putting buses at the heart of air quality Chaired by Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys n Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Birmingham City Council n Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability & Carbon Reduction, Glasgow City Council n Peter Williams, Director of Certification & Compliance, Cummins Europe n Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, Optare


Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Birmingham City Council Born and




14 :4 5 – 15 :15

Refreshment Break

1 2:3 0 – 1 3 :3 0

Lunch 38

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