Next Young Bus Managers Network conference to take place in Sheffield

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No less than nine different organisations will be represented in what it promises to be its biggest line-up yet when the next Young Bus Managers’ conference takes place in Sheffield on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 October. The Young Bus Managers Network is heading to Yorkshire for its autumn conference, which it says will offer a packed programme of high level industry speakers and site visit.

Thomas Ableman, Director of Strategy & Innovation at Transport for London, having previously worked at National Express and Chiltern Railways before founding Snap Travel Tech and the Freewheeling transport and mobility blog, will lead the main day’s conference. He has some highly interesting perspectives about travel and its future direction, and will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of bus leaders.

Meanwhile, Zenobē is helping some of the UK’s biggest operators in their transition from diesel to electric. Its Business Development Director Bradley Fox will outline current innovations in this critical area of the industry, and the work Zenobē does to make the business case work whilst supporting innovation and long-term investment.

Two former graduate management trainees, now leading two of the respected bus operations in Yorkshire, will offer a local perspective. Ben Gilligan and Matt Kitchin are in charge at East Yorkshire and Stagecoach Yorkshire respectively. They will offer their career highlights, lessons, and the current opportunities and challenges serving two contrasting areas of the White Rose County.

Shifting gears from local bus to the growing intercity express sector, the conference will hear from Andreas Schörling, the UK Managing Director of Flixbus. Since its launch in Germany in 2013, Flixbus now connects over 2,500 destinations in 40 European countries, and is expanding quickly in the UK. Andreas will discuss the company’s tech-first approach to travel and its future expansion plans. Reflecting the increased role of the public sector in the coach and bus industry: John Dowie, presently Executive Director of Infrastructure and Place at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, will speak from his perspective in this area of the country and how it is linked to wider development and infrastructure. He has held senior roles at both First Bus and the Department for Transport.

The site visit will take delegates to First’s Olive Grove depot in Sheffield. Reputedly one of the largest depots in the county, First’s Sheffield base will provide an insight into how the firm serves the city with a behind-the-scenes visit and tour of the facility. The conference will be rounded up with an ‘interactive Dragons’ Den’ group session, where the ideas and visions of those in attendance are put to the test by a team of ‘dragons’ – three key industry figures who will offer feedback and further discussion. Finally, delegates will hear from two Young Bus Managers Network members as Matt King of Arriva Midlands and Scott Cooper of Cotham Coaches in the North East discuss their work in two contrasting companies and offer relatable insight to those at the beginning of their careers.

“This promises to be another can’t miss event for any young bus manager keen to develop their knowledge, learn from industry experts and network with like-minded individuals”, said Young Bus Managers Network committee member Alex Hornby. “We rely on the support of our great industry to make these events a success and a rewarding occasion for those at the beginning of their career – and are confident all who join us in Sheffield will be better future leaders for doing so.”

Delegates are seen at a Young Bus Managers’ visit to Cardiff Bus. YBMN