Next conference in Manchester - Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd April
The conference will be held at the Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel on Blackfriars Street. Confirmed speakers are:
- Dan Bassett, Head of Operations, Reading Buses
- Chris Cheek, Passenger Transport Monitor
- Alex Chutter, General Manager of Swindon's Bus Company, Salisbury Reds and Tourist Coaches
- Joe Wood, Commercial and Integration Director, CitySwifter
- Gary Nolan, Chief Executive, OneBus
- Kieran Proctor, Business Development Manager, Omnibus Passenger Transport Solutions
- Meera Rambissoon, The TAS Partnership
Our after dinner speaker is Dave Guest, journalist and chief reporter for BBC North West Tonight. After working as a reporter for regional and national newspapers, Dave joined the BBC in 1983 and has since won several awards. He knows the bus industry very well, having chaired several debates at trade shows and hosted the annual ALBUM conference for many years.
In a change to previous conferences, the depot visit will become an optional element and bus(es) will depart from the conference hotel at 1430 on Tuesday afternoon. We will be visiting Stagecoach's Hyde Street depot. Some bedrooms will be ready from 1400 and bags can be stored at the hotel reception desk.
Additionally, delegates are invited to visit the offices of Omnibus Passenger Transport Solutions. You need to make your own way there and back, but its and easy trip by tram. At the junction of Blackfriars Road and Deansagte, cross the road straight ahead into St Mary's Gate. Take the first left into New Cathedral Street and walk into Exchange Square. Take a Pink line tram towards Rochdale or Brown line towards Shaw and Crompton, and alight at Hollingwood. Trams run every six minutes and the journey takes 18 minutes. The full address is: Hollinwood Business Centre, Albert Street, Hollinwood, Oldham OL8 3QL. To get from the tram stop, click here to download directions.
To see the full programme, click here.
Conference venue: Renaisssance Manchester City Centre Hotel
The conference will be held at the Renaisance Manchester City Centre Hotel, Blackfriars Street, Manchester M3 2EQ. Telephone 0161 831 6000. The hotel entrance is quite small and is on Blackfriars Street near its junction with Deansgate. There is a revolving door and a single set of swing doors.
There is free wifi throughout the hotel. Some bedrooms will be available from 1400 and the rest from 1500. Before dinner, delegates are invited to gather from 1800 in the private bar in the Da Vinci Lounge, one level up on the mezzanine floor. Dinner begins at 1900 in the adjoining Galileo Suite. The conference is expected to finish at 1515 on Wednesday.
Breakfast will be available in the Cast Iron Bar & Grill from 0700 on Wednesday morning.
The hotel is easily accessible by public transport.
Manchester Victoria Station - about 7 minutes walk
Exit out of the station onto Victoria Station Approach and turn left. Follow the road, which becomes Todd Street, crossing the road towards the National Football Museum, which you should keep on your right. At the junction, turn right, keeping the Football Museum on your right. Continue along Corporation Street following the tram lines into Exchange Square. Bear right, following the line of buildings on your right and keeping the tram lines to your left, and across the square. Keep walking passing the black and white timbered Sinclairs Oyster Bar on your right and Harvey Nicols on your left along what becomes Cateaton Street. Continue to the cross roads at the end. Cross Cateaton Street to your left towards Harvey Nichols and walk up the slope, keeping Harvey Nichols on your left. Walk straight ahead to the cross roads, then cross Deansgate to your right towards the Italian restaurant on the corner of Blackfriars Street. The hotel is next to the restauarnt on Blackfriars Street. Look for the revolving door. There is a set of swing doors further on.
Manchester Piccadilly Station - about 20 minutes by free bus
Come of out of the main station entrance and on your left you will see a turnaround area and a bus shelter. This is for Free Bus 2, which runs every 10 minutes. Take this bus for about 15-20 minutes and alight at St Mary's Gate stop on Deansgate. Walk back in the direction that the bus came from and walk around the corner to your right past the Italian restaurant, and you'll see the revolving door of the hotel ahead of you. The route of the two Free Buses around Manchester can be downloaded here.
For the return journey, go back to the same stop and get on Free Bus 2 again as it continues its loop around the city centre ending up back at Piccadilly station.
By Express Coach
Express coach services arrive into Chorlton Street Coach Station - about 20 minutes walking and free bus
Exit the station onto Chorlton Road and turn left. Walk along the left hand side of the road towards Yates on the left hand side. Cross the main road (Portland Street) straight ahead towards Nero and turn left, then immediately right into Charlotte Street. Walk along Charlotte Street, crossing to the left hand pavement when convenient, and keep going until you reach the bus stop, which is just past the glass covered Chinese BEA bank building. Take Free Bus 1 (runs every 12 minutes) and alight at Barton Arcade. Walk back in the direction the bus came from to the junction and cross the main road (Deansgate) to your left, then the smaller road (Blackfriars Street) to your right towards the Italian restaurant. You will see the hotel to the left of the restaurant as you cross Blackfriars Street. The route of the two Free Buses around Manchester can be downloaded here.
For the return journey, take Free Bus 1 from the same stop where you got off and stay on the bus while it loops through the city centre and alight at Chorlton Street, opposite the bus and coach station.
The nearest airport is Manchester, about 10 miles away. Trains run roughly every 10 minutes into Manchester Piccadilly Station, taking 15-20 minutes. Two single tickets are cheaper than a return and cost between £2.90 and £5.70 depending on which service and whether booked in advance. Bus routes 43, 102 and 103 operate from the airport to Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre, but the journey takes roughly an hour to an hour and 20 minutes. The fare is £3.50 single. A taxi will cost around £25 and take about half an hour.
The Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel has its own area of the adjoining NCP car park, using the special hotel entrance on Deansgate. This requires a key card which you need to collect from the hotel Reception before driving into the car park. There is a bay outside the hotel doors on Blackfriars Street where you can stop while you go into the hotel and collect the key card. To enter the car park, turn left at the traffic lights and follow the signs on the left. The fee is £18 per day.
There four options for dinner; three choices are listed for each course, plus chef's choice of a dish if you have a dietary requirment which is not satisfied by one of the three choices. You should select three numbers - one for each course - and respiond to the e-mail you will be sent. If your reply is not received in time, a choice will be made for you. You will be given a piece of paper with your conference badge indicating your choices, so you don't need to remember them. If you have not received an e-mail within 24 hours of booking, please send a message using the Contact Us form and include a contact telephone number.
OPTION 1: Chicken with Cos lettuce, Parmesan and croutons with a Caesar dressing
OPTION 2: Roast squash and pumpkin soup
OPTION 3: Goat's cheese with heritage beetroot and basil
OPTION 4: Other dish which satisfies a dietary need not covered by one of the above
OPTION 5: Chicken supreme with pancetta, leeks and roast shallots, served with carrots, honey, butter, parsley and roast potatoes with thyme and sea salt
OPTION 6: Pork fillet with crisp sage and onion and caramelised pear, served with carrots, honey, butter, parsley and potato gratin with caramelised onion
OPTION 7: Caramelised onion tart with goat's cheese, fig and cress, served with carrots, honey, butter, parsley and hash potatoes with leeks and parsley
OPTION 8: Other dish which satisfies a dietary need not covered by one of the above
OPTION 9: Sticky Toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream
OPTION 10: Blueberry cheesecake with blueberry coulis
OPTION 11: Clementine tart with clotted cream
OPTION 12: Other dish which satisfies a dietary need not covered by one of the above
Freshly brewed tea and coffee