Confederation of Passenger Transport to face restructuring?

Changes to the Confederation of Passenger Transport are believed to be in discussion, which may lead to a wider consultation across the membership soon, Bus & Coach Buyer believes.

Speculation about the future shape of the CPT came after the CPT Scottish Conference, when comments made by CPT President, Martin Dean, and Sir Brian Souter were reported. The reports suggested the five major bus companies were looking for reduced fees and more vocal political activity. However, CPT’s head office in Chancery Lane, Central London, is tight-lipped about the restructuring, which it says is still some way from being decided.

A spokesperson from CPT told Bus & Coach Buyer: “A review has been carried out and the findings are being looked into.” He said the CPT did not want to make any further official statement.

However, CPT members are expecting to soon receive a communication asking for their opinions on proposed changes, which may include a change to the location of its head office, which lease expires in early 2020. A trade press report that the consultation on the new structure closes on 2 November is incorrect.

Richard Bamber, Managing Partner at Anthony’s Travel and Chair of CPT North Western region, understands there is going to be a consultation paper coming out concerning potential changes at CPT. He confirmed his understanding that a potential outcome of the structural review was to move the headquarters out of London. According to its 2017 accounts, the lease of buildings amounting to some £204,795 annually will expire in early 2020.

“I totally agree with moving out of London, other companies such as the BBC and ITV have done this and saved a lot of money,” he said. “But coach operators need to see the ‘win’ out of their membership and any structural changes. They need to feel someone is still fighting their corner and they are receiving good value for money and the opinion of the small and medium sized coach operator matters just as much as any other member. My concern is if there is a reduction in regional managers, you will miss out on that grass roots knowledge. CPT has to change with the times, what has proved effective in the past may not be of the same value in the future, but any changes should be for the benefit of all members. To steal a phrase: for the many, not just the few.”

The CPT received £3.16 million income in 2017, reporting an operating surplus of £7,872 and capital reserves of £1.02m. Almost all income derives from membership fees, of which a substantial percentage is contributed by the five major bus groups. Salaries in 2017 amounted to some £1.63m, split between 35 staff.


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