Europe’s biggest bus and coach event of the year facilitates multi-million pound orders
18 expert speakers, 120 vehicles, 291 exhibitors, nearly 9,500 attendees, and multi-million pound orders – that’s the headline figures from this year’s Euro Bus Expo, which won rave reviews from across the passenger transport sector last week.
The three day biennial show, which took place at the NEC Birmingham on 1-3 November, was organised by Diversified Communications, in association with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT).
Senior executives from all the UK and Ireland’s major bus and coach operators packed the aisles to discover what’s new and next at this vibrant industry showcase.
Among the companies in attendance were National Express, Stagecoach, First Bus, Arriva, The Go-Ahead Group, Metroline, Eurolines, Abellio, Transdev, RATP Group, Centro, The Wellglade Group, Translink, Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Co, Reading Buses, Nottingham City Transport, trentbarton, Bus Eireann, Lothian Buses, Oxford Bus Company, Shearings, Centrebus, Diamond Bus, Epsom Coaches, Edwards Coaches, Bakers Dolphin, Clarkes of London, Manchester Airport Group, Transport for London, and Tower Transit.
Local authorities, community transport providers, partnership coordinators, and stakeholders – from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, were well represented. As were hundreds of international transport groups and suppliers from over 40 different countries.
Significantly, the strong footfall has been backed by glowing testimonials from across the show floor. Fantastic, brilliant, excellent, vital, useful, busy, productive, and enjoyable – are just some of the words attendees have used to describe the 2016 show so far.
“Euro Bus Expo is a unique opportunity for transport professionals, as it brings together such a diverse range of manufacturers, service providers, industry bodies, operators and experts in a single event. It enabled me to hold a number of key business meetings with suppliers, get a taste for future direction and opportunities and, not least, catch up with numerous old industry friends! It was well worth visiting,” says Tim Noble, head of procurement & supplier management – UK Bus at FirstGroup.
“Euro Bus Expo gives an unrivalled opportunity to meet friends and industry colleagues I deal with, under one roof in pleasant, informal surroundings and this year was no exception. I was particularly looking forward to exploring what latest innovations can enhance the experience of our customers – both in terms of ticketing and enhancements in vehicle design, and there was certainly some great innovations on display that will help shape our commercial thinking in the coming months,” says Phil Southall, MD of Oxford Bus Company.
“It’s a very good show and an efficient use of our time. All our suppliers are here under one roof,” says Richard Yoxall, procurement category manager directs – engineering & vehicles at Arriva.
“Euro Bus Expo is a great place to hear about developments in technologies before they hit the market,” says Andrew Fear, MD at Citistar.
120 vehicles – valued at over £25m – on show
Many of the innovations on show across the 25,000 sqm of exhibition space at Euro Bus Expo 2016 – from the latest ‘must have’ vehicles, accessories and equipment to cutting-edge technology, training and services – will define passenger transport design, developments, and solutions for years to come.
This year’s visitors were the first to see a host of new vehicles – including Volvo Bus’ new B5LHC Double Deck Electric Hybrid (with Opportunity Charging), the Scania Irizar i8, Alexander Dennis’ Enviro400CBG gas double decker, Optare’s Metrodecker EV prototype, the Yutong E12 full electric connected bus (in partnership with Arriva and 21st Century), VDL Bus & Coach’s first right-hand drive Futura FDD2 double-decker coach, Wrightbus’ Gemini 3, the Nu-Track Stellar, and the Super Low Floor Metro LF from EVM.
There were also new launches from Cummins Engine Co, BMAC, Passenger Lift Services, Bowmonk Tapley, Teknoware Oy, Vision Techniques, Omnibus, Totalkare HDWS, Pride & Joy Clothing, Freeway Fleet Systems, Ticketer, DILAX Systems UK, JOSAM (a division of Car-O-Liner group), TruTac, Faiveley Transport, Maha UK, AID Fuel Oils Group, TD Tyres, RF Tracking, and Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, to name but a few.
Many of the manufacturers exhibiting at Euro Bus Expo have announced significant orders already.
The 2016 exhibitor list is still available to view at www.eurobusxpo.com/exhibitor-list.
Inspiring show content
The Bus Services Bill, Brexit, devolution, partnerships, ULEZ proposals, congestion, funding, and smart ticketing – some of the biggest challenges facing the bus and coach sector – all featured prominently in the 2016 Master Class Theatre programme (sponsored by SmartDrive Systems).
Highlights included standing-room only sessions by leading industry operators – John Birtwistle, CPT president and head of policy at FirstGroup's UK Bus Division, Martin Dean, MD – bus development at The Go-Ahead Group, Mark Fowles, MD of Nottingham City Transport (NCT), Jeff Counsell, MD of trentbarton, Martijn Gilbert, CEO of Reading Buses and Leon Daniels, MD of surface transport at Transport for London – sharing their expertise on the latest transport legislation, funding initiatives, business developments and innovations.
The wider economic contributions and social role of buses and coaches to millions of people in the UK were discussed at length by Lord Snape, Member of the House of Lords, and the Transport Minister for Buses Andrew Jones MP, who were both at the show (day one and day three respectively) to give addresses on the much-anticipated Bus Services Bill.
Bus Minister Andrew Jones said: “It was great to meet lots of people and encouraging to see the vast amount of innovation that is happening to improve journeys for passengers.
"Buses are the workhorses of our transport system and are vital to getting people around.
"New electric buses, smart ticketing and smartphone apps for passengers will make journeys greener, easier and see more people travel by bus.”
Show features for 2016, also included the Technology Zone, Outdoor Display Area, and the Accessibility Zone, accessibleSolutions by Rescroft.
Further show news and reviews will be available over the coming weeks in routeone magazine.
Event director Helen Conway says: “Based on the reaction from our industry, Euro Bus Expo 2016 was one of our best editions to date – so we really couldn’t ask for a better result!”
“There was so much excitement and anticipation before the show even opened this year, which continued right until the doors closed on the third day. The aisles were packed with thousands of buyers ready to do business, and many of our exhibitors have already reported significant deals and orders being done.
“There was such a great range of new vehicles, products, and technology on display, which provided a real buzz and illustrates just how much this sector is constantly innovating and evolving to help make travelling by bus or coach even more comfortable, safe, accessible, efficient, sustainable, and connected.”
“We’re particularly grateful for the continuing support of our event partner – the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) and also our speakers, sponsors, visitors and exhibitors. Thanks for helping us put on a fantastic show!”
Exhibitors celebrate successful show
Summing up their exhibitor experience, Paul Leigh, UK Transit Key Account Manager at Altro Transflor, says: “The show has been fantastic, with customers attending throughout. I haven’t been taking lunch until after 4pm, due to the number of people attending the show. It’s been great.”
“The show was, as always, superbly organised and immensely helpful for us. It gives us an unrivalled opportunity to introduce our existing customers to a wider spread of our team, and for us to meet potential new customers. This year, we had significant numbers visit our stand, and the quality of potential new leads was outstanding. The three days passed in a flash, and left us buzzing,” says John Clarfelt, MD of Ticketer.
“The atmosphere was fantastic — everyone was impressed by the range of technology and vehicles on display. The topics discussed in the Master Class Theatre were also incredibly relevant and interesting to us. It's always helpful to hear other industry leaders' opinion on prevalent topics in industry, and Euro Bus Expo is the ideal platform for these discussions," says Peter Tillotson, business development manager at TyrePal.
“Euro Bus Expo 2016 has been a significant success for Passenger Lift Services (PLS). On day two, the stand was the busiest I have ever seen. Over and above demonstrating product, it was a pleasure as ever to network with so many international contacts during the event and we look forward to exhibiting once more in 2018,” says Adam Beck, MD at PLS (a Mobility Networks Company).
“The show has been excellent. It has definitely been busier than previous years, and we have had some very positive leads that we’ll be following up after the show,” says John Domigan, UK sales and marketing manager of Voith Turbo.
“It was a very positive show with a good number of visitors to the stand. We have taken orders and are taking imminent business,” says Alan White, director of Minis to Midis.
“2017 is looking like a bumper year for EVM. We hope that all our customers old and new had as good a show as we have had. We look forward to meeting with you all at the next Euro Bus Expo,” says Chris Beaven, marketing specialist at EVM.
Save the date
Euro Bus Expo will return to the NEC Birmingham in 2018. For further information, please visit www.eurobusxpo.com.
The next edition of Coach & Bus UK takes place on 4-5 October 2017 at the NEC Birmingham. For further information, please visit www.coachandbusuk.co.uk.
Media enquiries & photography requests to:
t: 01926 455269
Exhibitor sales enquiries to:
Martin Laverton, Group Sales Manager
t: 01733 405735
High resolution images are available to download below (more can be supplied on request):
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