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Chris Bowles Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester to retire

12 August 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

Stagecoach announced on the 11 August that Chris Bowles, Managing Director of its Manchester division, is to retire after more than 42 years in the UK bus industry.

Chris Bowles Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester to retire

Chris, who took up his current post in 2010 and has worked with Stagecoach for 20 years, will formally hand over the role to his successor by November after an internal appointment process is completed.

He will remain with Stagecoach for up to 12 months, reporting directly to Stagecoach UK Bus Managing Director Robert Montgomery, to help develop the future strategy for the company’s bus network in Greater Manchester, before retiring in 2017.

Chris Bowles due to hand over the role to his successor by November 2016

Over the past six years, Chris has led a team of 2,350 employees, including 1,800 drivers, running 800 buses out of six depots on 600 routes across the region.

Chris joined Stagecoach in 1996 and became Operations Director in Manchester in 1998, moving to Stagecoach’s Ribble business in 2000, before being promoted to Commercial Director for the North West in 2001 when the Ribble and Cumberland operations were merged. He was Managing Director of Stagecoach North West from 2006 to 2010.

As well as heading up the region’s largest bus operator, Chris has been chairman of One Bus – the Greater Manchester Bus Operators Association – since 2011. He has also chaired the North West Regional Committee of the industry body Confederation of Passenger Transport.

“Public transport has been transformed during my lifetime and I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with many superb people and partners”

Chris Bowles said: “Public transport has been transformed during my lifetime and I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with many superb people and partners.

“When I started in the industry 42 years ago, publicly-owned buses were in a spiral of decline from lack of investment and little real concept of customer service. Now here in Manchester we have a green bus fleet to rival anywhere in the country, smart integrated ticketing, an extensive network that connects communities across the region and a real drive to put passengers first.

“As Greater Manchester looks to the future with more local decision-making in key areas of government, there’s a real opportunity to build on that success. But we can only go that if our politicians take bold, comprehensive action to tackle the scourge of road congestion that is holding buses back from delivering on their full potential.”

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Managing Director of the UK Bus division, Robert Montgomery said: “Chris has been a fantastic servant to Stagecoach and the wider industry over many years and his work to champion improved services for passengers has helped transform the quality of bus travel for customers. We have already started the process to appoint a new head for the Stagecoach Manchester business and we look forward to making an appointment in the near future.

“I’m delighted we will also continue to have access to Chris’s insight in the months ahead as we look to finalise our long-term vision for Greater Manchester’s bus network and work with the other partners who share responsibility for improving public transport.”

Eurotransport would like to wish Chris Bowles all the best for the future.

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