Final Regional Director appointment confirmed by Stagecoach as South East business also confirms engineering appointments
Stagecoach announced yesterday that it had made the final appointment in its new-look regional structure. Paul Lynch has been appointed Regional Director London and Wales.
Wales had until recent times been part of the Midlands and Wales patch and then with the last re-organisation was tagged onto Scotland. This was not such a strange setup as it appeared as it put operations in Scotland and Wales, where both countries have devolved Parliaments.
Paul will replace Robert Andrew, who currently looks after Scotland & Wales, and is planning to retire in the summer.
Paul will work alongside Nigel Winter, the Managing Director of Stagecoach South Wales, to lead the strategy for Stagecoach in Wales. Nigel will continue to manage all the day to day operations and stakeholder engagement in Wales.
Sam Greer has recently been appointed Regional Director Scotland.
Paul Lynch has over 20 years’ experience with Stagecoach, starting as a graduate trainee with London Buses in 1984. He has held numerous senior positions with Stagecoach in the UK and overseas, having been Operations Director for Stagecoach Sweden, and Managing Director of both the East Midlands and Yorkshire bus operations. More recently, he has been Regional Director London, looking after Stagecoach’s contracted services on behalf of Transport for London in East and South East London.
Stagecoach now has a team of four Regional Directors covering its bus operations, alongside each of its bus company managing directors. Catherine Acton-Brazier joined the business in November 2019 as Regional Director North, Carla Stockton-Jones will join as Regional Director South in February, and Sam Greer is Regional Director Scotland. Paul Lynch continues in his role as Regional Director London and will take over responsibility for Wales.
Mark Threapleton, Chief Operating Officer for Stagecoach, said: “Paul has extensive experience of running bus operations right across the country, which made him the natural choice for taking over leadership of the strategy for our Wales operation.
“Alongside his current role as Regional Director London, Paul will work with Nigel Winter, the Managing Director of Stagecoach South Wales, to drive forward and deliver further improvements to our service in Wales.”
Paul Lynch added: “There are a number of important and interesting developments and opportunities in Wales, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Nigel and our excellent team there.”
Further south we hear that Stagecoach South East has appointed two new members to its senior team, in order to continue improving services for its millions of customers.
Mark Wallis and Grahame Patterson have been appointed to the roles of Engineering Director and Fleet Engineer respectively. The new positions will ensure advances are continuously made in areas that matter most to those using Stagecoach services, such as turning up on time and being clean and presentable.
Mark said: “With 32 years’ worth of experience in the bus industry, I am confident that in my new role, I can help Stagecoach South East make strides in making sure our buses are even more punctual, reliable and clean. I’m very pleased to be joining the team and look forward to working together to help make our customers happy.”
Mark previously worked for bus manufacturers Alexander Dennis and Optare before becoming an Engineering Director for Stagecoach South Wales. Grahame, previously Acting Engineering Director, has worked in various roles within Stagecoach South East for over 25 years and is a highly experienced Transport Manager.
Grahame added: “I’m excited to take up the position of Fleet Engineer - having worked for Stagecoach South East for many years, I am well aware of what we do well but also of what we can do to improve. We believe in acting on feedback and a large part of my new role will be to focus on the issues that people have told us matter to them.”
Commenting on the new roles, Joel Mitchell, Stagecoach South East’s Managing Director, said: “I’d like to welcome Mark and Grahame to their new roles. Our recent survey results told us users rank punctuality and reliability as most important to them. We can always do better, and the new senior positions will drive our efforts for continuous improvement.
“Both Mark and Grahame come to their new roles with a plethora of experience, in fact, 65 years of experience combined. We know our customers expect a reliable and clean bus network and I have no doubt in my mind that both Mark and Grahame will work tirelessly to deliver that to the people that matter; customers, colleagues and communities.”
In 2018 Stagecoach celebrated 25 years since taking over the East Kent Road Car Company in 1993. Since then it has almost doubled its fleet to 459 buses, with its new vehicles offering the latest cleaner engine technology to provide greener travel. The company employs more than1,300 people and carries more than 43 million passengers a year.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.