Operating and Marketing Public Transport

The Forum’s guest speaker on the 15th of October was Scott Hellewell from Wakefield, a civil engineer  who worked in the public transport industry involved in both rail and bus services.

He gave a short summary of the history of public transport from stage coaches to the present day.  He then gave us an insight into the problems encountered when devising a transport system including the different ways of establishing transport routes and timetables which are easy to understand and operate to give a safe, frequent and comprehensive service at reasonable cost. 

Scott then talked about modern developments in the rail and bus industries and the way that politics has intruded, not always to the benefit of the travelling public.  The principle of competition in the transport industry fails to recognise that the real competition comes from the private car and for this reason we do not benefit from an integrated system where the different forms of transport complement each other. 

During a lively a lively question and answer session the subjects of the HS2 link, park and ride schemes and driverless buses and trains were raised.  Gordon Wilson proposed a vote of thanks for a most interesting talk.