Bus Back Better: A Look into the Challenges Faced by the Industry
Following the Guardian’s recent article regarding UK bus privatisation, Mistral Group Managing Director, Steve Low, shares his thoughts on potential changes within the industry’s policies in the near future:
“The article highlights that we (government, passengers, operators, financiers, suppliers and manufacturers) all want the same outcome: a well-funded, progressive and sustainable operating environment.”
“Though, the core question is how the funding (if made available) will be delivered in order to achieve these outcomes. Given the cuts in local Government transport departments over recent years, there is a void of talent in planning, marketing, and operating buses, with this skillset essentially being outsourced to private businesses who have rightfully taken on the challenge and developed successful, innovative companies.”
This became apparent with the implementation of the Transport Act 1985, which saw the deregulation of bus services in England, Scotland and Wales. The Guardian’s article, mainly relaying points made in the report of a former UN special rapporteur, describes the changes in 1985 to have caused a once dependable service to become more expensive, unreliable and dysfunctional.
“So how will it play out? Will we have a new wave of municipals following a change in law, or will franchising and enhanced partnerships win out? Status quo seems unlikely for sure.
“The good thing is that we are talking about developing a world class, nationwide bus service and, by any definition, that makes it an exciting industry to be a part of!”
Click here to read the full article from the Guardian.