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Transport Benevolent Fund - 2019
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March 13 2019
By Jessica Barton

Jessica writes for routeone, Group Tourism & Travel, and is the Editor of Coach Drivers Club News

15 minutes with… Steve Newton

Cumbria-based Ellenvale Coaches’s Compliance Manager talks about his career and how the industry ‘pulled him back in’

How did your career in the industry begin?
I started as a Stagecoach driver in 2011 working at the Carlisle and West Cumbria depots. I then started working for Reays Coaches as a driver in 2014, before running its bus services operation. After holding a number of different managerial posts at Reays, I moved to Ellenvale Coaches in 2017 as its Compliance Manager.

Steve joined Ellenvale Coaches in July 2017

What might a typical working day look like?
It involves a bit of everything. We all have our key tasks, so on a day-to-day basis I look after the compliance side of the business, but we all do a bit of the driving as well. It’s a good old-fashioned hands-on company to work for. As Compliance Manager, it’s all about keeping the business on the straight and narrow from top to bottom.

What do you enjoy the most?
I have a perfect work balance here – there’s nothing I don’t enjoy. I do like the variety and being able to keep my hand in the driving. As it’s a small company, it’s nice to work somewhere where we all pitch in and play our part in making it a success.

What are the challenges?
The biggest challenge has been switching over from being an Operations Manager to a Compliance Manager, but it is one I have enjoyed. Ellenvale is fully-compliant and I like the challenge of keeping it that way.

Have you changed anything to improve the business?
I have changed the way things have been filed, which makes it easier to find what you need. As the company has grown, being run by one man doing everything, there’s now a few of us here with our own specific tasks and we have all been able to improve our own areas and make things more efficient for the business.

What else has changed?
When I started in 2017, Ellenvale had 10 vehicles. It now has 12 vehicles, so the company is growing steadily. We’ve got more contracts, more vehicles and more drivers.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
I’d like to still be working for Ellenvale, possibly taking on more responsibilities on the operations side. I really enjoy working here and I get a real kick out of completing the tasks I am faced with. I get on well with everyone – it’s a really good team. Whether they can say the same thing about me is another story…

Can you see yourself always working in this industry?
Yes. When I left Reays, I went back to selling cars for three weeks, which is what I did before driving buses, thinking it would be permanent, but the coach industry pulled me back in. I just didn’t enjoy selling cars anymore. The industry was calling me, so I started working for Ellenvale, and I haven’t looked back.

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