November saw the Community Transport Association return to the beautiful venue of One Great George Street, the home of the Institution of Civil Engineers, for our annual Westminster Conference.
We were thrilled to welcome CTA members from across the UK and participants from across the wider transport, infrastructure and charity sectors as well as representatives from government. The day featured four main sessions, along with an exhibition space where a wide range of exhibitors shared best practice and talked with participants.
The conference was an excellent example of the sort of conversations we can have when we come together as a sector and look outwards, embracing the possibilities of partnership, innovation and collaboration.
In this blog you can find a short roundup of each session, along with the speakers’ slides and audio of their presentations.
Department for Transport Policy Update
The day started with a keynote address from Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport. The Minister’s address championed the work of community transport and thanked CTA members for all that they do in their local communities. You can find a full blog relating to the keynote address here.
Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
The keynote address was followed by a presentation and audience Q&A from Stephen Fidler, Head of the Buses and Taxi Division at the Department for Transport. Stephen echoed the Minister’s words on the Government’s commitment to community transport and discussed upcoming policy and legislation of relevance including the Buses Bill and Total Transport.
Stephen Fidler, Head, Buses and Taxis Division, Department for Transport
The first main panel session of the day was ‘Building Partnerships’ which considered how we can create opportunities for community transport to partner in delivering major transport initiatives. The session was chaired by CTA Patron and Chief Executive and Founder of Novacroft, Debra Charles.
The discussion was opened by Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive of Women in Science and Industry (WISE) who discussed their campaign to get more women and girls working in transport. Helen was followed by Tim Hedley-Jones, Major Projects Director at Virgin Trains East Coast, who discussed their drive to make rail more accessible and the role that community transport can play in that endeavour.
Tim was followed by Ouachene Ourahmoune, Innovation Director at Alstom UK who announced a partnership between the CTA and Alstom working with community transport operators in Manchester, Birmingham and London. Rounding off the panel was Gareth Biggins, Head of Concession Management at Arriva Rail London who coined the phrase “we’re all transport aren’t we?” to highlight the enormous possibilities of collaboration between community transport and rail to create integrated, inclusive journeys.
Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive, Women in Science and Industry (WISE)
Tim Hedley-Jones, Major Projects Director, Virgin Trains East Coast
Ouahcene Ourahmoune, Innovation Director, Alstom UK
Gareth Biggins, Head of Concession Management, Arriva Rail London
New Directions in Community Transport
The afternoon’s panel discussion focused on the theme ‘New Directions in Community Transport’ and looked at the alternative transport solutions that are pushing boundaries to improve mobility. This session was chaired by Susan Evans, the CTA’s new Chair of Trustees.
The first speaker was Kate Gifford, Director of Carplus, who discussed the links between car sharing schemes and community transport. Kate was followed by Martin Higgitt, Associate Director at SYSTRA, who explained the concept of Mobility as a Service and looked at the challenges and opportunities for community transport in embracing new and evolving technologies. Martin was followed by David Trousdale, Smart Data and Technology Consultant at Amey who discussed how community transport could fit in with innovations such as autonomous vehicles.
The last speaker was Ed Potter, Managing Director of Arriva Transport Solutions who discussed how his organisation is already partnering with community transport to deliver non-emergency patient transport, and how further partnership can help overcome barriers and increase mobility.
Kate Gifford, Director, Carplus
Martin Higgitt, Associate Director, SYSTRA
David Trousdale, Smart Data & Technology Consultant, Amey
Ed Potter, Managing Director, Arriva Transport Solutions Ltd
A year in Community Transport
Bill Freeman, Chief Executive of the Community Transport Association, closed the conference by highlighting the inspirational work of community transport operators over the last year. The following video was shown at the conference and encapsulates just some of the incredible work done by our members in 2016.
In closing the conference, Bill discussed how he hoped that this video would be a call to action for members to send the CTA the stories of the work they do in 2017. He emphasised how important it is to shout from the rooftops about community transport and that, as we’ve shown over the last year, when a blog from a member can become a topic for a parliamentary debate, it’s always worth telling our story.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s conference. It was an excellent day of discussion and collaboration where we looked at the importance of building partnerships and looking outwards so we can work towards a transport sector that is accessible and inclusive for all.