My Trip
Beginning the Bus Revolution

Beginning the Bus Revolution

Welcome to Beginning the Bus Revolution: Building on the National Bus Strategy for England.     “I love buses, and I have never quite understood why so few governments before mine have felt the same way,” wrote prime minister Boris Johnson in the foreword to the government’s National Bus Strategy...
Out now: Issue 243 of Passenger Transport

Out now: Issue 243 of Passenger Transport

Issue 243 of Passenger Transport is published on June 11. Contents include:     LEAD STORY Leisure drives public transport bounce-back With many Covid restrictions still in place, there are encouraging signs of bus and rail patronage recovering – especially among leisure travellers   NEWS EXTRA ‘Time is running out’...
Leisure drives public transport bounce-back

Leisure drives public transport bounce-back

With many Covid restrictions still in place, there are encouraging signs of bus and rail patronage recovering – especially among leisure travellers   Scarborough’s Beachcomber buses   Recent statistics confirm that leisure travel is driving a post-pandemic resurgence on public transport, with the last Sunday in May seeing buses outside...
‘Time is running out’ - Vere urges action

‘Time is running out’ – Vere urges action

Transport minister Baroness Vere offered new insights into her thinking on buses at an online meeting of the Young Bus Managers Network last week   Baroness Vere   With a few notable exceptions we’ve seen some pretty unenthusiastic buses ministers over the years. Baroness Vere is not one of them....
I tried to stop a  rail privatisation

I tried to stop a rail privatisation

  Our high profile campaign failed to prevent rail privatisation. In the end it collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions   I was the coordinator of the ‘Save our Railways’ campaign   Since the Williams-Shapps rail plan was published it seems like everybody has been telling their story...
Will we really let GBR ‘get on with it’?

Will we really let GBR ‘get on with it’?

  Our Whitehall insider imagines what’s going on inside the minds of the mandarins at Great Minster House, home of the DfT     When I listened to the Transport Select Committee take evidence on our Rail White Paper the other week, I was hoping to hear some information on...
Latest entries
The rail review to end all rail reviews?

The rail review to end all rail reviews?

Keith Williams (and transport secretary Grant Shapps published their long awaited rail White Paper last week – but will it stand the test of time?   Keith Williams (left) and Grant Shapps   It was more than two and a half years ago that former British Airways CEO Keith Williams was signed up to chair...
‘Too early to commit to long term bus funding’

‘Too early to commit to long term bus funding’

The government has committed to spend an additional £3bn on buses over three years – Baroness Vere says it’s too early to say what happens after that   Baroness Vere   The government is not ready to commit to additional funding for local bus services in England beyond its existing commitment to invest £3bn over...
Great destination - but can we get there?

Great destination – but can we get there?

  There is much to like about the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail – but this document also contains a number of contradictions   Back to the future: Transport secretary Grant Schapps launched Plan for Rail at the National Rail Museum in York   It was not quite an out-of-body experience when I found myself dreamily...
Will GBR allow room for innovation?

Will GBR allow room for innovation?

  Plan for Rail has much to admire, but I worry about whether the structure will drive long term customer-centric innovation   The ability to ‘think different’ is at the core of Apple’s ideology. Can the same be said of GBR?   The White Paper skewers the existing structure with impeccable accuracy and defines customer...
'Public transport is both safe and desirable'

‘Public transport is both safe and desirable’

Broad coalition urges Boris Johnson to help high streets and avoid gridlock by restoring confidence in public transport   Clean, safe and ready to go   With lockdown restrictions continuing to ease prime minister Boris Johnson has been urged to send a “loud and clear” message of support for public transport. An unprecedented coalition of...
‘Big data can show where to put bus lanes’

‘Big data can show where to put bus lanes’

‘Stay at home’ order was a massive experiment on what happens to buses in free-flowing traffic     Data specialist CitySwift claims that its ‘bus data engine’ can provide evidence-based insights that will help local authorities and bus operators identify the best locations for bus priority measures. The government’s National Bus Strategy for England says...
The hard work begins - fight smart!

The hard work begins – fight smart!

  As the pandemic recedes and recovery begins, public transport will come under pressure to survive without emergency support   The decision of Andy Burnham (front centre) to go all out for franchising has cut through perhaps more than any other single non-London mayoral initiative has ever done   In some ways getting the funding...
One year has seen a decade of transition

One year has seen a decade of transition

  The national rail industry is facing a daunting task to stabilise its position in the transport market and its relevance to stakeholders   How long will it be before stations like Kings Cross see passenger numbers reach pre-pandemic levels?   The last 12 months have been a time of unparalleled change and disruption for...
‘Recalcitrant’ LTAs pressed on bus strategy

‘Recalcitrant’ LTAs pressed on bus strategy

Local authorities must produce ‘ambitious’ Bus Service Improvement Plans or ‘we will go back to them and say it is not good enough’, minister warns   Baroness Vere (centre) pointed out that extra funding was available for “those that I call my recalcitrant local authorities”   Local transport authorities in England have been warned not...
‘One third expect to use public transport less’

‘One third expect to use public transport less’

Research by Edinburgh Napier University suggests pandemic will deter public from using buses and trains, hindering key government objectives   36% anticipated using buses less and 34% using trains less   The Covid-19 pandemic may have long-term repercussions for the use of public transport in Scotland, a new study by Edinburgh Napier University suggests. A...
The way forward is public transport

The way forward is public transport

  The government says it is serious about building back greener, and I believe them, but they need to start joining up the dots     Police Officer: Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention? Sherlock Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. Police...
Quarter of Cardiff Bus fleet set to go electric

Quarter of Cardiff Bus fleet set to go electric

Eleventh-hour orders with ULEBS funding have secured new electric buses for municipal fleets in Cardiff and Newport. Rhodri Clark reports   The 36 Yutong vehicles will account for 24% of the municipal operator’s fleet   Cardiff Bus has placed what it believes is the largest single order for electric buses outside London, enabling it to...