Michelle Hargreaves, Regional Director North for Stagecoach, has announced plans to retire in July next year, following a 35-year career with the company.
Michelle, who has become a well-loved and highly respected figure in the bus industry, started her career with Stagecoach in 1987 as a cash clerk in Blackburn and held a number of managerial positions before taking her first Managing Director role at Stagecoach South West in 2008. During her time with Stagecoach, she has also held the positions of Managing Director in the East Midlands and in the East of the country before moving into her current role as Regional Director with responsibility for Stagecoach’s bus and tram operations in the north of England. She has also worked as part of the business change team, focusing on developing a strategy around people development and employee wellbeing.
Michelle has been an inspiration for women across Stagecoach. In 2017 she won the FTA Everywoman Transport Awards’ Passenger Award Leader. And, as a Lancashire girl born and bred, she was also recognised as one of the top female role models in the North when she was named on the Northern Power Women Power List 2020. Some of Michelle’s fondest memories include the setting up of Stagecoach’s well-known 192 Manchester service in the early 1990s. Michelle, along with her commercial colleagues, put the wheels in motion, recruiting all the staff and launching the service from the Ford Car Centre at Bredbury. This is now one of the busiest routes in Britain.
On her forthcoming retirement, Michelle said: “I vividly remember at my first interview being told they weren’t looking for a woman and I was determined to prove them wrong! I’m very proud of the career I’ve had with Stagecoach, and have been given some fantastic opportunities – including the highlight of learning to drive a bus and automatically getting a car licence with licencing laws being very different in the late 80s. It’s now the right time for me to move onto the next phase and I’m looking forward to spending more time with my husband and enjoying my retirement. I believe there are lots of exciting opportunities to come for the bus industry and with the great team we have at Stagecoach, there’s a bright future ahead. I’ll miss all the people here but will continue to watch the developments in the industry with interest.”
Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach said: “Michelle has been a valuable and key member of the Stagecoach team, and we are lucky to have had the benefit of her skills and experience over more than three decades. I have really enjoyed working with Michelle and will very much miss her input into the business. I know everyone at Stagecoach will join me in wishing her all the very best for a relaxing and well-deserved retirement.”
The recruitment process is currently underway for a new Regional Director North.