Out now: Issue 306 of Passenger Transport

Out now: Issue 306 of Passenger Transport

Issue 306 of Passenger Transport is published on February 9. Contents include:     LEAD STORY ‘Tap-in, tap-out’ train travel trial for 2025 Over 90 rail stations in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester will be included in ‘pay as you go’ schemes, moving towards a London-style system   NEWS...
‘Tap-in, tap-out’ train travel trial for 2025

‘Tap-in, tap-out’ train travel trial for 2025

Over 90 rail stations in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester will be included in ‘pay as you go’ schemes, moving towards a London-style system   Stations across the West Midlands and selected routes in Greater Manchester are to participate in the trial   Rail users in the West Midlands...
Labour must extend ‘face up’ to HS2 - Steer

Labour must extend ‘face up’ to HS2 – Steer

Government has axed ‘the most critical section of the route’   Concerns raised country will be left with a £67bn white elephant   A key proponent of HS2 says that if Labour forms the next government it must extend the project to Crewe and Manchester or the country will be...
Ukrzaliznytsia and its ‘iron people’

Ukrzaliznytsia and its ‘iron people’

On a recent visit to Ukraine I was inspired to meet so many brave, committed and talented people, who believe in the power of rail   This shell-damaged wagon was carrying civilian evacuees   BY David Brown I recently had the honour of visiting Ukraine as part of an international...
Building a more diverse team

Building a more diverse team

At First Bus we are helping to futureproof the industry with a diverse apprenticeship programme   Maddi Simmons joined First Bus’s engineering programme after her daily bus commute to and from college sparked an interest in the sector   From the granite streets of Aberdeen right down to the Cornish...
Why AI isn’t a silver bullet for buses

Why AI isn’t a silver bullet for buses

The true measure of success of the latest transport technologies lies in the hands of the people who know the industry best   Bus systems are influenced by a myriad of real-world factors   BY Brian O’Rourke From self-driving cars to artificial intelligence (AI) – we’ve been through the tech...
Let’s have some detail from Labour

Let’s have some detail from Labour

  While Labour’s intention to repeal the minimum service levels legislation is clear, not much else is. We’ve heard little of substance   Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves, the duopoly at the top of Labour   I see that Germany has been hit by a wave of strikes by 90,000...
‘They wouldn’t be seen dead on a bus’

‘They wouldn’t be seen dead on a bus’

  There are times in the bus sector when some organisations and individuals appear embarrassed to be associated with bus travel   It’s rare to stumble across a business or sector where you get that disconcerting vibe that those at the helm would deep down rather not be doing what...
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Labour - ‘No more tinkering on the edges’

Labour – ‘No more tinkering on the edges’

With a general election drawing closer, shadow transport minister Simon Lightwood addressed bus and coach operators in London last week   Simon Lightwood at last week’s CPT Conference   An incoming Labour government would use simplified and extended franchising powers to grow public transport, and provide the sector with greater certainty. That was the message...
Bus Partnership Fund pause disappoints CPT

Bus Partnership Fund pause disappoints CPT

Scottish Government pledged £500m – but has spent only £26.9m   As recently as last October, Scotland’s minister for transport, Fiona Hyslop, told Passenger Transport that the Bus Partnership Fund was “a key area of investment”   Formally launched in November 2020, Scotland’s Bus Partnership Fund was hailed as a “landmark long-term capital investment of...
Lothian - municipal and entrepreneurial

Lothian – municipal and entrepreneurial

  Edinburgh is a city where every kind of person uses the bus and where everyone owns their local bus company, Lothian Buses   An initial fleet of 50 new Volvo BZL electric double deck buses will enter service in the spring   It’s good to be in the warmth of the great value Lothian...
Walking and public transport are allies

Walking and public transport are allies

  Walking is good for our mind and body, our environment and public transport. Hana Sutch of Go Jauntly wants to make it easy   Hana Sutch set up Go Jauntly in 2018   I’ll be honest, before the pandemic I had zero interest in walking for fun. But then, apart from model railways and...
Stagecoach pledges new ways of working

Stagecoach pledges new ways of working

Claire Miles has indicated a new approach to bus franchising and wants to turn the page on ‘cultural and political baggage’ of Souter years   Claire Miles is keen to cast aside Stagecoach’s “cultural and political baggage”   The recently appointed chief executive of Stagecoach has expressed regret over the group’s confrontational approach to bus...
First plans Sheffield open access service

First plans Sheffield open access service

New service aims to woo motorists to rail with faster journeys   FirstGroup said the venture would form part of its Hull Trains open access business   FirstGroup has revealed it has submitted an application to launch a new, faster open access rail service between London and Sheffield via the East Coast Main Line. It...
Five brakes on rail’s growth potential

Five brakes on rail’s growth potential

  The latest ORR figures on rail usage are surprisingly good because the railway suffers from brakes on progress. Here are five of them   Rail usage is up 14% year-on-year   Industry, politicians, and civil servants will doubtless be taking some quiet satisfaction from the upward trend in rail usage reported by the regulator,...
My hopes and fears for the New Year

My hopes and fears for the New Year

  Happy New Year to you all. To ring in the new dawn, here are some of the things I hope to see or fear we will see in 2024   Bring back NRPS! Remember the National Rail Passenger Satisfaction Survey (NRPS)? It was a very simple, quarterly customer survey with a decent sample size....
UK Bus Awards 2023 ‘Big Book of Big Winners’

UK Bus Awards 2023 ‘Big Book of Big Winners’

The UK Bus Awards 2023 presentation ceremony took place in London in November, and you can read all about the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in this official Souvenir Brochure. Click on the image below to view The Big Book of Big Winners 2023.   If you are viewing the site on a tablet or...
Christmas cheer for public transport!

Christmas cheer for public transport!

London’s buoyant retail and hospitality sectors has spurred public transport recovery in the capital. Outside of London, bus groups reveal ‘very encouraging’ year-on-year passenger growth of 5-10%   Bus use is up by 8% in London   The festive period has brought encouraging signs of continued recovery in public transport passenger volumes. Transport for London...
Grand Union applies to run non-London trains

Grand Union applies to run non-London trains

Open access operator plans Edinburgh-Cardiff service   GUT’s Cardiff to Edinburgh services could use Class 222s   Grand Union Trains is seeking access rights to run the first open access passenger services which would exclude London. It says its proposed services between Cardiff and Edinburgh via Birmingham would provide a much-needed uplift in capacity and...
We need one last Christmas cracker

We need one last Christmas cracker

  Capital investment in transport across English cities is welcome, but we must not forget London. Its success must be maintained   50 year old Bakerloo line trains being maintained   I am writing this column after our work Christmas party, which was held in Manchester. Unfortunately, the Urban Transport Group team didn’t get invited...