Fit for a new era
Dear fellow Shareholder
A new era of opportunity
This is a very interesting time for mass transit. Across the world the debate on climate change, clean air and how we power future growth is an increasingly urgent one.
As Dean Finch, Group Chief Executive, has already said: it is an agenda National Express welcomes.
I have written in previous Chairman’s statements that to maintain National Express’ leadership position we must be seen as a trusted partner to our customers and the communities we serve. Time has only strengthened this conviction.
It is pleasing, therefore, that we have a strong track record to build on. Most importantly, in safety, National Express has made very strong progress under Dean’s leadership.
It is perhaps the biggest achievement during my seven years at National Express that across the whole Group there were not any responsible fatalities in 2019. The investment in Lytx DriveCam smart safety cameras and the associated management systems has undoubtedly made a real difference. The Driving Out Harm campaign launched in 2010 has changed the safety culture across the whole Group.
In this area, and many others, National Express is delivering significant benefits to our customers, our staff and the communities we serve.
But we want to go further. As Dean says, National Express is determined to meet the opportunity that the new era and challenges present.
Leadership in the new era
In our meetings with customers, politicians and regulators, it is clear that they want their services delivered by an operator that prioritises safety, excellence and value. Cities like Birmingham and Barcelona are setting out radical new plans that place high quality, clean and green mass transit at the heart of their future vision.
In launching the renewed Vision and Values, Dean is again demonstrating National Express’ leadership and how we ensure our ambitions and focus reflect the priorities of customers and key stakeholders.
National Express’ ambition is therefore to be seen as the world’s leading mass transit operator, trusted to consistently deliver high quality services to customers at prices they value. This is also the company that our employees tell the Board they want to work for.
This is why National Express welcomes the demands of the new agenda: the response required to meet them is the leadership National Express aspires to demonstrate.
It is a demonstration of our commitment that in our full year results statement we made significant leadership pledges on zero emission vehicles – including never buying another diesel bus – in the UK.
Sir John Armitt
27 February 2020