BRITAIN'S BUSES - GETTING OUR PRIORITIES RIGHT

26TH SEPTEMBER 2011

OVERVIEW

This year Transport Times is collaborating with Greener Journeys at all three main political party conferences.  All the fringe events are free of charge and are located outside the secure zone so attendees will not require a pass to attend, refreshments will be served.  The events will take as their theme the issue of Britain's Buses: Getting our priorities right.

Labour
Mon 26 Sep, 08.00-09.15 Hilton Hotel, Grace Suite 2, 3 Thomas Steers Way, Liverpool, L1 8LW

Speakers:

Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Transport Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State;
Prof David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times (Chair); 
Barry Gardiner MP, Energy and Climate Change Select Committee;
Tim O’Toole, Chief Executive, FirstGroup;
Gillian Merron, Chairman, Bus Users UK;
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys     


Conservative
Tuesday 4th October, 12.45-14.00 Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Pankhurst Suite, Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5GP

Speakers: 

Theresa Villiers, Minister of State for Transport;
Professor David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times (Chair);
Sir Brian Souter, Chief Executive, Stagecoach;
David Brown, Chief Executive, Go Ahead;
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys  


These events will provide the opportunity to discuss the conditions necessary to achieve Greener Journeys’ target to take one billion car journeys off our roads by 2014.  If the campaign is to succeed in delivering significant modal switch from car to bus, we need a public policy framework that supports a strong business case for the provision and enhancement of bus services.  Buses are crucial to delivering on key government objectives: driving economic growth, reducing carbon emissions, protecting the environment, tackling social exclusion and reducing congestion.  The debate will include a discussion around the following key areas:

    • Buses are central to a thriving economy and are crucial to creating the conditions necessary for economic growth.  How can Government help to support the vital role that the bus has to play?
    • Congestion in urban areas currently costs 11 Billion of GDP, and without a substantial shift from car to bus key corridors will remain heavily congested.  What measures should be taken to encourage people to drive less?  Is it possible to achieve this without some measure of car restraint?
    • How can we most effectively reduce CO2 emissions from transport?  What role do electric cars have to play?
    • Without significant modal shift from the car Government carbon reduction targets will be very difficult to achieve in the short to medium term – we can’t make the necessary reductions in carbon by technology alone.  Do you agree, and if so what would you propose to do to encourage behaviour change?
    • Over the past generation we have been fuelling demand for carbon by encouraging people to travel further.  Where money is tight, should we not be reducing the need to travel by land-use planning?
    • Carbon tax will raise money and cut carbon.  Is this not a better way of fulfilling the coalition’s objectives than increasing other taxes?
    • Often the problem with cutting carbon is that it hits the poorest hardest, promoting bus use is both equitable and a tremendous low carbon strategy.  Do you think it is fair and right that the low carbon modes of transport have faced sharper fare increases compared to the cost of motoring?

About Greener Journeys

Greener Journeys is a national campaign aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead.  The campaign’s key objective is to take one billion car journeys off the UK’s roads by 2014.  Switching from car to bus for just one journey in 25 could save 2 million tonnes of CO2, and would deliver 50% more CO2 savings from transport than planned by Government over the same period. 

Originally launched in 2009 Greener Journeys has to date been funded by the big five bus groups: Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead, National Express and Stagecoach on behalf of the wider industry and transport community.  Major stakeholders are represented on the Greener Journeys Advisory Board including: Transport for London, RAC Foundation, Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), Passenger Transport Executive Group (PTEG), and Campaign for Better Transport.  Greener Journeys is also a member of the Climate Clinic along with organisations demanding political action on climate change including WWF, Greenpeace and Green Alliance. 

Transport Times is well known for providing unrivalled insight into the transport industry from thought leaders in the sector. The awards and events that the Transport Team produce have similar status as the best in the industry, and that's why we've been proud of First Group's involvement over the years in sponsoring numerous awards and why we will continue to support these events in the future

Tim O'Toole CBE

Former CEO, FirstGroup