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Want to travel? Sorry, railway closed

Want to travel? Sorry, railway closed

  Blockades to enable railway engineering works are commonplace. Is it surprising that many reach for the car keys at weekends?     Saturday April 16, was a great day for the beleaguered coach industry. The FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Manchester City saw the biggest single movement ever of people by coach to...
Don’t neglect your older customers

Don’t neglect your older customers

  If your concessionary travellers have not returned since Covid, ask yourself this… what have you done to make them feel valued?   My dad is a proud bus user!   Have you ever been to an ALBUM (Association of Local Bus Managers) Conference? I was at their annual shindig last week, which was in...
What’s the future for ticket offices?

What’s the future for ticket offices?

  My former boss, ‘Sir’ Michael Holden, recently caused a stir by suggesting they could be closed. A rethink is certainly required   Ticket offices aren’t always as bright and appealing as this one   That Workplace Reform discussion, which I wrote in the last issue won’t go away. My first-rate, former gaffer, Michael Holden...
Another nudge in the wrong direction

Another nudge in the wrong direction

  By helping motorists and ignoring public transport users, the chancellor continued a long tradition in his Spring Statement   Chancellor Rishi Sunak was feeling so generous towards motorists that he even had himself photographed filling up the Kia car of a Sainsbury’s employee   The highlight of the recent Spring Statement was the 5p...
Workplace Reform - can we really do it?

Workplace Reform – can we really do it?

  The railway is talking about Workplace Reform, the post-Covid world demands it. But what will it look like and will it happen?   The railway needs the right people in the right place at the right time   ‘Workplace Reform’ are the two words that are on the lips of every rail industry bigwig...
Bus safety shouldn’t be an afterthought

Bus safety shouldn’t be an afterthought

  England’s National Bus Strategy dragged poor practice into the spotlight but left the bus safety regime to stagnate in the margins   Edinburgh is the only city I can think of, other than London, where the bus feels like a mass transit system used by all   The National Bus Strategy for England has...
Is it still possible to ‘bus back better’?

Is it still possible to ‘bus back better’?

Matt Gamble and Neil Davies of Atkins consider how England can deliver BSIPs, Enhanced Partnerships and ZEBRAs   The welcome announcement of an extension of the Bus Recovery Grant buys some much-needed breathing space for buses   Since the original commitments and ambitions outlined in the Department for Transport’s Bus Back Better strategy, published in...
Four ways to accelerate the diversity agenda

Four ways to accelerate the diversity agenda

Just 20% of the UK’s transport and logistics workforce is female. Here’s a plan for making the sector more appealing to women   Govia Thameslink Railway reports it has experienced an influx of female apprentices   BY Krishna Desai, Senior Global Marketing Manager at Cubic Transportation Systems Currently, the UK transport system isn’t fully equal...
My 10-point plan for boosting morale

My 10-point plan for boosting morale

  In my last column I explained how morale among public transport employees has hit rock bottom. Here’s what we need to do to fix it   The industry has lost the plot when it comes to motivating those on the frontline and junior managers   Yikes! My last article about the rock bottom morale...
Bus cuts close doors onto the world

Bus cuts close doors onto the world

  As the funding cliff-edge approaches, we should consider the impact the bus service cuts have on those who depend on them   The young and the elderly have the highest propensity to use bus, as do people in the lowest income quintile   “It’s like a forgotten world. It makes you feel depressed… we’ve...
Has morale finally hit rock bottom?

Has morale finally hit rock bottom?

  It’s an oft-said phrase in public transport over the years, but I fear we may have reached a nadir. The sector can and must respond   It’s noticeable, in some cases, how despairing some staff are   When you trawl social media, there’s no shortage of folk masquerading as experts in mental health, spouting...
Is this ‘levelling up’,  or falling flat?

Is this ‘levelling up’, or falling flat?

  The levelling up white paper seeks London-style transport for all, but service cuts are now looming and we risk moving backwards   Prime minister Boris Johnson and ‘levelling up secretary’ Michael Gove launched the white paper last week with a visit to Blackpool Transport   Is that it? That was the pithy and somewhat...