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July 10 2019
By Jessamy Chapman

Album ambassadors Thomas Knowles
and John Owen to retire

Thomas Knowles is thanked by Album Chairman Bill Hiron 

Two Association of Local Bus Managers (Album) stalwarts are retiring this year, after 20 years of service each.

Thomas Knowles and John Owen OBE will step down from their administrative roles at Album, which represents and supports 160 small and medium independent and municipally-owned bus operators in the UK.

They have both contributed significantly to Album’s objectives of influencing national policy, offering gold standard service, and encouraging more people to use local buses.

Thomas's previous role was as General Manager of Lancaster Transport, while John was Managing Director at Thamesdown Transport in Swindon.

Thomas says: “The time is right for me to step aside but I am extremely proud of all I have achieved in my career, both in running a successful commercial operation in Lancaster but also and importantly representing my colleagues and industry partners.

“As an industry we have faced some significant challenges, and I believe that Album has responded to the pressures of the influx of major bus conglomerations and the changing political support and policy around bus travel.

John Owens’ achievements were also celebrated at the recent conference

“I am most pleased that independent and municipally-owned operators continue to provide locally-based and much needed services.”

John, who was also previously President of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), says:

“I have built my career on doing things properly, on time and to an impeccable standard. I hope I have offered those attributes to Album and its membership and I hope my leadership has supported our industry and sector.

“I’m pleased that I was able to represent our interests in the Government’s recent Bus Services Act and I think it is testament to our professionalism and local delivery that no authority has yet taken the opportunity to franchise operations. For me it demonstrates that the current model doesn’t need a complete overhaul and we aren’t doing too badly.

“Album represents local transport providers, and I genuinely believe that focus on local need is key to a sustainable future marketplace.”

The administration role includes growing and maintaining Album’s membership base, co-ordinating and chairing cross sector leadership meetings, organising the annual conference with a focus on marketing, engineering, financing and traffic management, and providing a forum for members to share best practice and develop together.

The administration function of Album has now passed to consultancy Transport Partners, run by former CPT Officer and Head of Olympic Bus Services Allan and Gill Edmondson.

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