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CMAC hosts The Great Transport Debate, bringing industry leaders together to address crucial transport issues

Posted Oct 09, 2023

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Over 200 transport industry professionals made their voices heard at The Great Transport Debate, a high-profile industry event that brought together key thought leaders and decision-makers from across all modes of transportation.

The event, which was hosted and sponsored by ground transport specialists CMAC Group, took place at Concorde Conference Centre in Manchester, and featured an impressive lineup of speakers and tackled pressing issues facing the transport sector today.

Key Speakers included;

  • Martin Jones, CEO of Cavu

  • Jacqueline Starr, CEO of Rail Delivery Group

  • Nigel Stevens, Chair of Transport Focus

  • Waleed Ahmed, COO of Transreport

  • Rachael Farrington, Head of Government Affairs for VisitBritain/VisitEngland

  • Steve Turner, Founder of CMAC Group

  • James Hammett, MD of UKTram

  • Clive Wratten, CEO of BTA

  • Graham Vidler, CEO of Passenger Transport

  • Claudette Anderson, Partnerships Manager of GoJauntly

  • Alex Hickman, Previous Government Advisor & MD of Teneo

  • Peter O’Broin, Government Affairs Manager, UK & Ireland of IATA

  • Clare Welsh, Company Director of Wellman Cars

Amongst many others from various public and private businesses within the transportation industry. The event included four panel debates, each addressing critical challenges within the transport industry:

  • Achieving Multi-modal Integration: Experts discussed the pressing need for policy makers, trade bodies, and operators to work collaboratively to provide a joined-up multi-modal proposition. The consensus was that vertical integration is key to seamlessly connecting different modes of transportation.

  • Enhancing Social Mobility: The debate centred on ways to increase social mobility through improved transport infrastructure and accessibility. Speakers emphasised that transportation plays a vital role in ensuring equal opportunities for all.

  • Local Markets and Community Engagement: Panellists explored strategies to meet the diverse needs of local markets and communities within a centralised model. The discussion highlighted the importance of tailoring transport solutions to the unique demands of each region.

  • Fostering Innovation: The final panel debate delved into creating a framework that encourages innovation within the industry. Participants emphasised the role of technology and data-driven solutions in shaping the future of transportation.

Key Points from the Debates and Presentations:

  • Vertical Integration: The speakers unanimously stressed the urgent need for vertical integration in multi-modal transport. They emphasised that seamless connectivity between different modes of transportation, such as buses, trains, taxis and micro-mobility services, is essential for providing passengers with efficient and convenient travel options.

  • Socio-Economic Benefits of Transport Devolution: The debate on social mobility underscored the significant socio-economic benefits of decentralising transport services. Devolution allows for more localised decision-making and tailoring of transport services to meet the specific needs of communities, ultimately improving overall accessibility and mobility.

  • Streamlined End-to-End Journeys: Transport providers discussed strategies to simplify and streamline end-to-end journeys for travellers. This includes integrating digital ticketing systems, real-time information sharing, and creating user-friendly interfaces to make the entire travel experience more convenient and user-centric.

Audience members also participated in the debate by submitting their own questions and comments to the panels via the online platform, Slido.

The Great Transport Debate, sponsored by Rail Delivery Group and Teneo and hosted by CMAC Group, served as a platform for industry leaders to engage in meaningful discussions and share insights on the future of transportation.

In addition to this exciting event, CMAC Group also sponsored the World Aviation Festival in Lisbon on 26-28 September. CMAC CEO, Peter Slater, addressed industry leaders at the global gathering, sharing invaluable airline consumer insights aimed at enhancing the passenger experience, especially during disruptions.

This further cements CMAC's position as a global leader in transport, supporting clients within aviation and rail alongside public and private sector clients.

Neil Micklethwaite, COO of CMAC Group and host of The Great Transport Debate, said

“This collaboration of decision makers from across all-modes of transport is a UK first, the discussions reinforced the importance of unity, innovation, and customer-centric approaches in addressing the challenges facing the transport sector.

“We will continue the debate through a dedicated working group, which is open to participation from all interested individuals across all modes of transport.

“The aim is to work collectively towards a more integrated and seamless transport system across the U.K that builds communities and economic wealth, allowing people to get to work and education, see their friends and families, visit attractions and fully support social mobility.”

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