Robert Williams, new CEO of Reading Buses, has said that it’s an ‘exciting time’ to be joining the company – and is confident it has a ‘bright future.’
He took over the role earlier this month from interim CEO Tony Pettitt, after former CEO Martijn Gilbert left to join Go North East in August.
A conductor for Reading Mainline in the late ‘90s, Robert will now oversee the whole company as he joins following a period as Commercial Director of Stagecoach South West.
Outlining his initial thoughts on the future of the business, Robert said: “Keeping the company at such a high level, and hopefully raising it to even greater heights, is no small task and will rely on all our staff continuing to go above and beyond to deliver the best possible experience for our customers in Reading, Newbury and the Thames Valley.
“The bar set by our customers’ expectations always gets higher!
“We also face some difficult financial challenges, not least the cost of coping with congestion, but also the degree to which our local authority partners have funds to be able to assist.
“Reading Buses is now one of only nine remaining municipal bus companies and we need to make sure that our great relationship with Reading Borough Council, and other local authorities, is used to its maximum benefit for all concerned.”
Robert also stressed that the company is continuing to work ‘extremely hard’ to keep costs down for passengers where possible, yet maintain the standards residents expect from the operator.
He added that, despite the advancements made under Martijn Gilbert’s leadership, there was ‘definitely more work to be done.’
“We need to be mindful of all the challenges, as well as the opportunities, to ensure we retain a healthy, innovative business of which all the people of Reading can be proud.
“I am looking forward to getting up to speed with the company and then steering it to a bright future – and with all the technological, environmental advancements and a great team already in place, it should be an exciting journey.”