I enjoyed a really fascinating visit to National Express Coventry’s bus depot in the heart of the Coventry city centre with a colleague recently.
Having made the commitment to never buy another diesel bus, National Express is adding more than 130 electric double decker buses to its books over the next year as Coventry works towards becoming the UK’s first all-electric bus city. So it needs to undertake some significant work and investment at the depot to cater for them.
A nice, new shiny cable will need to be brought in from more than five miles away to cater for the demand for juice, for instance.
That cable is also going to help the local authority fulfil some of its own needs in the area, so hopefully that joined-up thinking and collaboration can be done elsewhere.
It does need to be, of course. ‘It’s the infrastructure stupid’ is a phrase that often pops into my head on this topic.
In any case, the visit was one of those opportunities to see that things are happening, being done and actually achieved on the ground.
It can be easy to get lost in a cycle of headlines, projections and working papers. Visits like this are essential reminders that at some point you just have to get on and do it. In the real world.