Following on from our highly successful Manchester conference in September 2023 we turn to Leeds as the host city for 2024. Whilst covering all developments across Yorkshire, Lancashire and the metropolitan districts we will no doubt be looking at how Manchester’s phase One of franchising has gone amongst the many presentations. This year’s conference is being held at the Hilton Hotel, Leeds City Centre. Day one will have a rail agenda and will be hosted by our sister publication Modern Railways magazine.
The Public Transport in the North conference took place at Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Manchester Piccadilly from September 12-13. The event was organised by Buses Magazine and its sister publication Modern Railways, with the first day dedicated to rail and the second to buses.
Manchester was an ideal venue for this first northern conference, because of the imminent launch of the Bee Network. The first tranche of this publicly controlled bus system, replacing a deregulated market in place in Manchester since 1986, went live on September 24.
Naturally, much of the conference focussed on its host city, and we were delighted to welcome Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to open the event. He spoke for 40 minutes, answering many delegate questions and established an air of positivity which persisted through the bus day of the event. The opening session also featured Stephen Rhodes and Anne-Marie Purcell from Transport for Greater Manchester, Zachery McAskill from Stagecoach Manchester and Nigel Featham from Go North West. Featham provided one of the standout presentations of the day, detailing his company’s brilliant Elite Bus Driver Training Academy recruitment campaign.
The second session of the day involved Ben Wakerley from Warrington’s Own Buses and Philip Kershaw from EO Charging, who both spoke about the process of establishing a new electric bus depot. Matthew Goggins from Liverpool City Region, a likely bus franchising location in the near future, also spoke.
The final session of the day included Andreas Schörling of Flixbus, Matthew Lawrence of Alexander Dennis, Ben Gilligan of Easy Yorkshire Buses and Adam Cross and Lee Sands from Hexagon ALI / Sapphire Systems, with CPT CEO Graham Vidler concluding the event, with a talk on improving bus service under any regulatory mode.