Brighton and Hove and Metrobus MD Martin Harris to retire

Headshot of Martin Harris

Managing Director of Brighton and Hove and Metrobus, Martin Harris, is to retire in November, Go-Ahead has announced.

Martin, who has managed Brighton and Hove and Metrobus since 2013, first joined the industry in 1980 as a senior management trainee. He has occupied senior roles within Go-Ahead since the mid 1980s.

Under his leadership, both Brighton and Hove and Metrobus operations have grown to be some of the most successful bus operations in the country. Brighton and Hove claims to have more bus journeys per head of population than any other UK city outside of London.

Diversity and inclusion have marked Martin’s leadership, with initiatives in female driver recruitment, the bus sector’s first ever accessibility manager role, and the first bus and rail inclusion conference.

He has also collaborated with charities and organisations for the benefit of local communities, introducing the bus sector’s first HIV and AIDS policy, and the Quality Bus Partnership, a voluntary partnership between operators, Brighton Buswatch and Brighton City Council.

Other initiatives include the introduction of tap-on, tap-off technology and the launch of 52 extended-range diesel-electric hybrid buses.

In 2019, Martin’s work was recognised when Brighton and Hove and Metrobus was recognised in the Department for Transport’s Inclusive Transport Leaders scheme.

As well as his work within the bus industry, Martin is on the boards of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and Transport for the South East; is Chair of the UNESCO Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere; and is a trustee board member of the East Sussex Credit Union Foundation.

“It is with a heavy heart that I will be saying goodbye to a business and its people that have been part of my life for so long,” Martin says. “After 41 years of service, I believe it’s the right time for the business and for my family and to develop other projects.

“It has been a true privilege to be the Managing Director of Brighton and Hove and Metrobus for the last eight years. I’ve met so many extraordinary people on the way, including the amazing community champions we celebrate on the side of our buses, the charities and access groups who challenge us to see things differently and of course the many inspiring colleagues that work day in, day out to provide our services and to make us more than just a bus company.

“It’s been so rewarding to have worked in an industry that makes such a difference to people’s daily lives.”

David Brown, Go-Ahead Group Chief Executive adds: “We’re sad to see Martin go after such a long and successful career at Go-Ahead. I’ve seen first-hand how he has delivered for passengers and communities and admired his passion for getting into every task at hand.

“Whether he’s pioneering new technologies, forging a local authority partnership, or working with charities and community organisations, he has continued to set a standard for how a bus company should operate.

“I wish Martin the best of luck in his retirement. Although he’s stepping down from the busy role of Managing Director, I’m sure he will remain a familiar face in Brighton and the community.”

Go-Ahead will begin recruiting for Martin’s replacement soon.