In her first interview since becoming Stagecoach’s UK managing director Carla Stockton-Jones explains why she remains positive about the future

 
Carla Stockton-Jones

 
Passenger numbers are about half what they were pre-Covid and the industry is dependent on life support government funding, but the boss of Britain’s biggest bus, coach and tram operator remains “incredibly optimistic”.

In her first interview since becoming Stagecoach’s UK managing director of last month, Carla Stockton-Jones expressed confidence that bus passenger volumes can recover quickly.

“If you look at current patronage levels, even in the current lockdown situation we are somewhere between 45 and 55% patronage,” she told Passenger Transport. “We were up as far as 60% before the most recent lockdown came in. So yes, I do think it will bounce back.”

We were up as far as 60% before the most recent lockdown came in. So yes, I do think it will bounce back

Much of the group’s short term scenario modelling anticipates demand reaching around 85-95% of pre-Covid levels. And if the government supports modal shift and helps to reverse the strong ‘avoid public transport’ messaging, the former Sky executive believes it could reach 100% and beyond.

“I am incredibly optimistic about our prospects for the future,” she said. “It’s important to remember that we are part of the solution, not the problem.”

 
This story and the full interview appear inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

DON’T MISS OUT – GET YOUR COPY! – click here to subscribe!