John Pockett, 68, CPT’s long-serving Director for Wales is to retire at the end of the year.

He has held the post since it was created in 2000 following the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales.

During his time as Director, he has worked with 11 CPT Wales chairmen and eight ministers for transport at the Welsh Senedd (formerly the National Assembly for Wales) and also four Chief Executives of CPT UK – Veronica Palmer, Brian Nimick, Simon Posner and Graham Vidler.

“I have enjoyed my time with CPT, made many enduring friendships and learned a great deal about the coach and bus industry which was a completely new area for me when I joined in July 2000” says John.

“There have been many challenging times as the industry has had to meet changing demands, adapt to different pressures and cope with declining budgets as the Government has faced increasing financial constraints. But we have come through it, although there are even greater challenges ahead.”

Asked what stands out most, John says: “In terms of the bus industry, it must be the central role CPT Cymru played the setting up and continued success of the Concessionary Fares Scheme for Older and Disabled People where Wales led the way for Scotland and England to follow.

“Over the 18 years of its existence, this splendid scheme has given support in excess of £1 billion to the bus industry in Wales. CPT Cymru achieved this for the industry through working in partnership with our colleagues in the Welsh Government and in the Local Authorities, and through thorough but reasonable dialogue and negotiation, never taking an aggressive or over-bearing stance.”

“I was also very proud when Huw Edwards of the BBC, a good friend for years, gave a highly entertaining and informative after dinner speech at the CPT Annual Dinner three years ago. I know I am biased, but it was widely considered to be probably the best ever Annual Dinner speech.”

John has no particular plans for the immediate future, except to have something of a rest, get his breath back and be Zoom and Teams free for as long as he can.

Commenting on John’s retirement, CPT Chief Executive Graham Vidler said: “I’ve hugely enjoyed working with John and his departure will leave a big gap for us to fill.

“I’m pleased that John will remain in post representing the industry until Christmas, ensuring members continue to be supported in these uniquely-difficult times. A process to find a full-time Director to succeed John is under way.”