CTTC AGM hears of the real Challenges Impacting the Coach Sector

Last Friday, 26 February 2022, the Irish bus and coach representative body, the Coach Tourism & Transport Council (CTTC), held its annual Annual General Meeting (AGM) at The Grand Hotel Malahide in North Dublin. This was the first physical meeting the association held since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The AGM also saw the election of two new members to the Executive Council of the organisation.

Hosted by John Halpenny, Chairman of the CTTC, the well-attended meeting heard from a number of members from around the country, who highlighted the importance of Government supports over the past two years which have helped to keep operators in business.

However, many expressed reservations around the two-tier transport system evolving in Ireland with particular concerns around the failure of Government to extend the 20% fare reduction and the Youth Travel Card to the commercial bus sector. Delegates also advocated for supports to help combat the impact of surging fuel prices which are adversely affecting all members but particularly school transport operators which are locked into contracts of up to five years at a time. Other issues raised include the unsuitability of the current PSV regime, and the need for funding support for the purchase of Electric Vehicles (EV) fleets.

The AGM also facilitated the election of Damien Long, Proprietor of Dave Long Coach Travel (Cork) and Garrett O’Toole, General Manager of Nolan Transport (Dublin) to the Executive Council of the organisation.

Stepping down from the Executive Council to make way for the new members was well-regarded operator, Derry Cronin of Cronin Coaches (Cork). The Executive Council would like to acknowledge the endless dedication and support provided by Derry over the recent past. The Council of the CTTC wishes them good luck with their future endeavours.

John Halpenny who continues in his position as Chairman until February 2023 said: “It was great to meet old friends and new at our AGM and to get to share the experiences of the past 24 months with each-other as we prepare for a new chapter in passenger transportation. It has been a difficult period for all operators but we remain committed to progressing the emerging issues impacting our sector so we can make a real impact on policy proposals the association is putting forward to Government.”

“We were also delighted to mark the election of two able candidates to the Executive Council. Garrett O’Toole and Damien Long are two important additions whose experience in the sector will perfectly complement the existing expertise on the Executive Council. As an Association we are immensely privileged to have some of the foremost operators guiding the future direction of the association and while we are sorry to see Derry Cronin of Cronin Coaches step down, on behalf of the association we would like to thank him and his father, Dermot for the enormous contribution they have made over the years.”

“I am very proud to continue in my role as Chairperson for another year. My vision for the sector is for a sustainable, progressive, and collaborative association that is a trusted advisor of relevant stakeholders while continuing to provide good quality services to local communities across the country. We look forward to continuing to work closely with all stakeholders across government to drive the recovery in coach tourism, scheduled services, private hire and school transport.”