Arriva to re-structure UK Bus

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99. Midlands and Shires to be merged to form one operating company Arriva is to re-structure its UK Bus business – the most significant change being the merger of Midlands and Shires to form one operating company. In geographical terms, this will effectively see the same business operate from London to Oswestry. CBW understands the move has been spearheaded by Managing Director of Arriva UK Bus Kevin O’Connor, who took up the role on March 2. It is also understood that Midlands has not been performing as well as expected in financial terms. A date or operating name for the new enlarged operating company have yet to be disclosed.

Mr O’Connor joined from G4S, where he held a variety of senior leadership roles between 2001 and 2015, most recently as Regional MD of G4S Cash Solutions UK and Ireland. Prior to joining G4S, Mr O’Connor started his career in the retail sector with Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership. In a memo to staff last week, Mr O’Connor, wrote: “We can all be proud of the successes we have achieved across UK Bus and the innovations we have brought to the market. To ensure that we continue to deliver great experiences for our customers and meet the changing needs of the market, we must continually improve and invest to grow profitable passenger numbers. To support the development of our strategy, we are investing for the future and strengthening the organisational structure.” Mr O’Connor said the key changes the firm will be working on over the coming months are:

+Invest in fresh commercial thinking to continually grow profitable revenue ahead of the market, whilst delivering for customers; +Deliver innovation and create a mind-set for continuous improvement, meeting customers changing needs and shaping the market; +Create consistent functional accountability and structures in the operating companies within a matrix structure, which promotes collaboration; +Support the “heart beat” of UK Bus, by utilising consistent measures of performance, which will flow through the business and driver clear actions; and

+Enable a data-led approach to analysing initiatives, that enable a one team approach and transparency of best practice and inter-Operating Company support.

The memo continued: “To help us achieve these objective, I have today announced a proposed reorganisation of the UK Bus business. “Peter Telford has been appointed Financial and Commercial Director – UK Bus, taking overall accountability for Marketing and Commercial as well as continuing with Procurement, Finance and ICT. We will be appointing a Commercial Director – UK Bus and Marketing & New Product Development Director – UK Bus; both will be part of the UK Bus Leadership Team and will report to Peter. “We will also be appointing a Public Affairs Director – UK, who will have accountability across UK Bus and UK Trains. The purpose of this role is to enhance and actively manage the reputation of Arriva in the UK amongst our political stakeholders, reporting to Alison Cole, Director – Communications, Arriva plc. “With regard to the Operating Company structure across UK Bus, we are proposing to merge Midlands and Shires to form one new Operating Company, with one senior leadership team.

“Within each Operating Company we are proposing to introduce three new roles: that of Marketing Director, HR Director and Head of Commercial.

As a result of the above proposed changes, we are now entering a consultation phase, with regard to a number of positions within the Operating Companies and UK Bus central teams. All employees potentially affected by the changes have been briefed this week and we will be supporting them through the process, including, where appropriate, seeking suitable alternative opportunities. “I appreciate that these changes will take some time to implement and will cause a period of uncertainty. However, I have been impressed during my time with Arriva with the support and commitment all of our employees demonstrate and I hope that this will continue as we go through this period of change.”

Mr O’Connor told CBW: “We are continually looking for ways to improve our business and the services we offer to our customers. “Following a strategic review we are proposing to implement some changes to the way the UK Bus business is organised. All employees affected by the changes have been briefed and we will be supporting them as we go through a period of consultation.”