Comparisons said to betray silo mentality

 

Ross Martin: ‘The comparison between bus and rail is pretty meaningless’

 

Bus operators were advised to stop comparing the level of funding received by their industry to the railway, at last week’s CPT Conference in Ayrshire.

On the first day of the event, a number of speakers drew comparisons. Chris Martin of the TAS Partnership pointed out that bus services in Scotland received a subsidy of £0.27 per trip in 2016/17 – 10 times less than the £2.74 provided for rail services.

But such comparisons drew a rebuke the next day from Ross Martin, who “agitates” for meaningful collaboration between Scotland’s public, private and social sectors to deliver “inclusive growth”.

It’s not a competition between bus and train. You’re in this together. It’s about increasing the size of the transport cake as a whole

“Stop comparing yourselves to the railway,” he urged. “It’s not a competition between bus and train. You’re in this together. It’s about increasing the size of the transport cake as a whole and trying to produce integrated solutions across the public transport network.

“All of those comparisons yesterday about how rail gets this amount of money, bus only gets this amount of money – they are meaningless to politicians. Politicians who are making choices are making choices across a whole spread of different budgets, and not just in the transport sector. So you need to agitate for a bigger slice of the overall pie rather than trying to compete directly one-on-one.”

Martin continued: “The comparison between bus and rail is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things and it … transmits that you are in your bus silo and that you’re not integrating with other forms of transport.”

 

This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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