Arriva Yorkshire and North East boss and Passenger Transport columnist Alex Warner among speakers at next Young Bus Managers Network event

The line-up has been confirmed for the next meeting of the Young Bus Managers Network, which will which will be held at Manchester’s Mercure Piccadilly hotel on October 23 and 24.

Speakers include Nigel Featham, managing director of Arriva’s Yorkshire and the North East bus businesses. His presentation will include details about the launch of the premium ‘Sapphire’ brand on the group’s route 7 service between Durham and Darlington.

Also addressing the event will be straight-talking local career busman Les Burton, who has just retired from his role of operations director at Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire. He will reflect on his 47 years on the buses in Manchester and Merseyside, from being under public control to private ownership, and latterly under the umbrella of Stagecoach.

Ian Jones and James Backhouse of specialist transport lawyers Backhouse Jones will present an informal, best practice session on all things ‘legal’. With the need for more local, focused transport managers expressed by the traffic commissioner, this promises to offer young managers many lessons to take back to their operations.

Meanwhile, back by popular demand, is customer service guru Alex Warner, who writes a fortnightly ‘Travel Test’ column for Passenger Transport. A past business leader across bus, train, air and now working in the logistics sector, Warner is passionate about seeing improvements in how the industry deals with its customers and improving aspects of its service for greater success. “You’ll go away highly energised to campaign for positive change after listening to him!” say the Young Bus Managers Network management committee.

The conference will begin at 6pm on Wednesday, October 23, and the organisers have something different arranged for their evening get-together – a quick trip on Manchester’s buses and a visit to the city’s famous Curry Mile. The meal and travel are included in the price of the conference – although those attending are advised to bring some money for drinks!

The workshop session will also make a return, providing the opportunity to share ideas together and take away lessons.

Booking is open now at – the price per person is just £167, which includes overnight accommodation and food and refreshments throughout the conference.


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