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May 14 2018
By Mel Holley

Mel is the Editor at routeONE magazine. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.


Reading Buses CEO Martijn Gilbert
to become Go North East MD

Reading Buses CEO, Martijn Gilbert, 35, has been appointed as the new MD at Go North East (GNE) from August. He takes over from Kevin Carr, 60, who retires at the end of June [routeone/23 February/News].

He has been CEO at the multi-award-winning municipal since 2014.  Prior to that he spent 9 years at Arriva and set up his own bus company in 2002, before selling it to Centra.

Go North East is the third largest employer in the Newcastle region, with 2,000 people.  It runs 700 buses across Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham carrying 75 million passenger journeys every year.

David Brown, CEO Go-Ahead Group says: “We are delighted to have Martijn join the leadership team at Go-Ahead. 

“Martijn’s history of delivering customer excellence and stakeholder relationships is an asset to the business.  With his experience and passion, I am confident that he will take the Go North East business from success to success.”

Mr Gilbert says: “It is with great excitement that I am taking up the role of MD at Go-Ahead’s regional bus operation in the North East and at such an important time for the local economy and its transport network.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the Go North East team, their partners and stakeholders to continue their award winning standards of service, and being part of a Group with such a strong reputation both inside and outside the transport industry.”

He adds:  “It is with a degree of sadness that I will be leaving Reading Buses, which will always have a fond place in my heart, to take up a new and somewhat bigger challenge elsewhere in the UK bus profession.

“By the time I leave I will have done nearly four years in post and during that time I have been exceptionally privileged to work with a great team of people and so many enthusiastic and supportive stakeholders.

“Together we have been through many enjoyable and interesting times and achieved great things that I am immensely proud to have been a part of.

“The company also continues to be on an exciting journey in tackling and adapting to the challenges of growing congestion, emerging technologies, changing retail, work and travel trends, economic pressures and also pursuing new growth opportunities.

“We have increasingly moved from being a local to a regional bus company across Berkshire, alongside continuing to invest in and develop our core Reading network, as the growth in Reading focussed jobs and housing continues beyond the Borough boundary.

“This is in addition to the ongoing opportunities to align with the growing regional economy through the work of partners in the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and major infrastructure schemes such as CrossRail.

“All of this expansion is helping generate new income which adds value to our core Reading based business and helps offset rising economic pressures.

“My focus in my remaining three months will continue to be on working with our stakeholders and the team here at Reading Buses to ensure that we do all we can to deliver high standards of service to our customers and also ensure that our company has a secure and prosperous future for the communities we serve, our employees and our shareholder.

“The process to recruit a successor has now started and in the meantime the company’s senior leadership team, focussed on Finance/Commercial, Operations, People, Engineering and Innovation, will continue to ensure the important continuity of service and relationships is maintained.”

The company’s Chairman, David Sutton, added: “Martijn has given Reading Buses four years of excellent and committed service, and has moved the company forward in many ways by his imaginative and positive leadership. 

“Whilst we are very sorry to be losing him, we wish him all the best in his future career. 

“There can be no doubt that he will have a great future in the bus industry, and we will watch his progress with interest, and some pride, as well as keeping in touch on a regular basis.”

Reading Buses operates over 200 buses and employs 650 people based in Central Reading, with satellite depots in Newbury and Slough.

The company runs buses across an intensive network covering the greater Reading area, as well as ‘Kennections’ branded local services in West Berkshire and as ‘Thames Valley’ in Slough, in addition to the Bracknell, Windsor and Slough to London ‘Green Line’ service.

It is one of nine municipal bus companies across the UK, it is owned by Reading Borough Council and operates as a standalone commercial business.



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