THE STATE OF PLAY

The bus industry is transitioning. It’s not an overnight transformation as happened with deregulation in October 1986, but a more gradual process such you might not notice things are irrevocably changing. Take a step back and you’ll see today is almost unrecognisable compared to five years ago.

The impact of this more gradual regime change will be as great, if not greater, than anything 1986 brought us and I’m not convinced it will be for the good.

The changes are happening across three interlinked fronts. Let’s look at leadership first. For decades the industry was characterised by leaders with long-standing careers and a wealth of knowledge arising from a passion for running buses. They’d come up through the ranks, often starting as a management trainee or being steeped in front line operational experience, an engineering apprentice or with a long-standing accounting and finance background in the industry.

Famous names including Sir Brian Souter and Sir Moir Lockhead were giants of the industry, along with career serving stalwarts such as Martin Ballinger, Chris Moyes, Giles Fearnley, Harry Blundred and many others, all hugely respected and wellknown figureheads of the industry.

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