CPT’s new president, Jane Cole, has written down what she hopes to achieve over the next year. The presidential role in the CPT was unique to those who were doing the job at the time.
I have a lot of work to do and I see my goals and roles change with the needs and expectations of members. I want to be the conduit between the members and the CPT team and actively participate in the structure of the council and committees.
I intend to listen and understand the challenges facing operators and be seen as supporting the CPT committee urging the government to fund this year’s professional coaching and bus transport campaign.
We need to get customers back on bus and coach travel in 2021. The CPT took its first steps by providing a forum for cooperation and getting the government to listen through a very successful meeting in January 2021.
The government likes to have a clear voice from its stakeholders and has taken this very seriously on the CPT throughout a turbulent 2020. At the CPT conference, Baroness Vere told us that she recently spent more time talking to Graham Vidler than her husband!
I do think it is unfair to blame the CPT for the lack of support from the UK government – many other industries as well as the coaching industry are not supported and the CPT is still trying to convince the government to change their minds. We shouldn’t be judging CPT on this issue, but remember the excellent work they have done throughout 2020 to keep members up to date and provide expert advice on a range of issues.
We also had good news recently that the UK government has finally said it believes coach operators should be eligible for England’s Additional Restrictions Grant, which the CPT has been calling for.
For 2021, I am eager to engage with CPT to agree on a long-term strategy for the organization, focusing on what members want CPT to achieve over the next 2-3 years. I look forward to working with the CPT Council to develop strategies to bring customers back into traffic, reduce congestion, and develop a framework for closer industry collaboration with government, city councils, local authorities and the tourism industry.
It’s going to be a tough year for everyone and I intend to persevere and do more to leave a legacy that I, CPT and more importantly members can be proud of.