Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Off The Buses: Roger French Retiring From Brighton Buses

Onmnibussocdotorg One of the reasons why it’s easier to be carfree in Brighton and Hove is that the bus service is so good. So it was sad to hear that Roger French is retiring from the top job at Brighton and Hove Bus Company in March 2013. Roger will be a hard act to follow. As the recent report from Campaign For Better Transport noted, Brighton and Hove ranked highest in the UK for public transport. As the report says, “Weekly bus fares could be lower, but the introduction of a smartcard is welcome. Public transport accessibility to the city centre could be improved, but on the whole key services are relatively easy to get to.” Rarely in the UK, the numbers of passengers on the buses has been going up every year for at least a decade.

Roger French has worked for the bus company since 1985, and was made an OBE for services to public transport in 2005. The company, in partnership with the local authority in Brighton and Hove, has been an early adopter of real time information services for passengers, talking buses and many other innovations – evidenced by the fact that they managed to grab the www.buses.co.uk domain name for the company. Roger French, and Brighton and Hove Buses, have won many awards, so local bus users will be paying careful attention to what happens next. Meanwhile, as the tribute on the website of Brighton’s Economic Partnership notes, Roger French is “a man of remarkable integrity, endeavour and achievement; we will not see his like again. The city salutes him.” (photo from Omnibussoc.org)

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