Comment
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 transport workers affecting rail, bus...
‘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 they’re doing and would prefer...
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...
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....
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...
A quarter century of caring for customers

A quarter century of caring for customers

  For almost 25 years Anthony Smith has represented transport users. He’s about to move on and leaves behind a strong legacy   Anthony Smith received the ‘Lifetime Contribution to Transport’ award at this year’s National Transport Awards   The internet was just a novelty, text messaging was starting to replace pagers, compact disc players...
Transport must wait as election looms

Transport must wait as election looms

  With the government focussed on defying the odds and clinging to power, and Labour being cautious, transport is in the long grass   The prime minister Rishi Sunak hosting a Cabinet meeting last week   And so the long run into the general election has begun. It is the period of a Parliament when...
A mood-lifting trip should start with us

A mood-lifting trip should start with us

  Public transport isn’t just about essential journeys. It can also be about fun days out, but this opportunity is too often overlooked   I don’t think the transport industry does enough to extol the virtues of a trip out from a well-being perspective   Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I guess...
Buses in Wales head in a new direction

Buses in Wales head in a new direction

  Progressive and coherent in its approach to transport policy, the Welsh Government has plans to transform public transport   Revamped:The Snowdon Sherpa network   As you’ve probably noticed, it’s all happening in Wales. Of the four nations of the UK, Wales is taking by far the most progressive and coherent approach to transport. Making...
We’ve saved them, now let’s revive them

We’ve saved them, now let’s revive them

  Closing ticket offices was a terrible idea that no-one wants to own. They should remain, but there are things we can do differently   Thankfully, plans to close ticket office have been abandoned   I said shame shame shame shame shame shame shame. Shame on you. It’s one of my favourite musical quotes and...