The Young Bus Managers Network returns in June with a major event in Birmingham. Some big names from the bus industry are already confirmed

In one of his first conference engagements since joining FirstGroup as managing director of its UK bus business, Giles Fearnley will give the keynote address a meeting of the Young Bus Managers Network. ‘The customer’ will be the theme of the meeting, which will take place at the Copthorne Hotel in Birmingham on June 9.

The meeting will take place exactly three years after the first gathering of the network, which was addressed by Stagecoach chief executive Brian Souter. Launched in 2009, the Young Bus Managers Network was formed to encourage and help develop the next generation of talent in the industry. The not-for-profit organisation provides a forum for young managers to exchange ideas and share their experiences.

A number of recent developments have strengthened the network. Firstly, it is now supported by the Chris Moyes Scholarship Trust, which was set up in 2007 in memory of the former Go Ahead Group chief executive. Secondly, one of its trustees, Roger French, managing director of Go Ahead-owned bus company Brighton & Hove, has been appointed as patron of the Young Bus Managers Network. He will be assisted in this role by James Freeman, chief executive officer of Reading Transport.
And finally, a committee of five young managers has been appointed: Ben Gilligan (First North and West Yorkshire),
Alex Hornby (TrentBarton), David Lee-Kong (Stagecoach West), Simon Mathieson (National Express Dundee), Patrick Stringer (Brighton & Hove)

French and Freeman will each contribute to the forthcoming meeting in Birmingham. Freeman will host an interactive workshop session in which delegates are invited to contribute. They will be joined by Alex Warner, who was managing director of express coach operation Greyhound UK before leaving to run Royal Mail’s operations in Wales and borders. Warner writes a fortnightly ‘Travel Test’ column in Passenger Transport, which addresses customer service issues. Other speakers will be announced soon.
There will also be a social element, with delegates invited to an informal gathering on the evening of June 8.

“I was delighted when the Young Bus Managers Network was first set up and I know my former colleague, the much missed Chris Moyes, would have been too,” commented Roger French this week. “He was always keen to encourage young people into the industry and develop their skills so they could make a real difference during their careers, as he of course did until it was tragically cut short.

“My colleague trustees are pleased to be able to use funds from the Chris Moyes Scholarship Trust to pump prime the reactivated network and I am personally thrilled to take on the new role of patron of the network to help guide its progress. Our upcoming conference looks set to be a brilliant opportunity to learn from the experts and each other.”

For further information about the conference or the Young Bus Managers Network email