Brighton & Hove's Roger French to retire in March 2013

It was announced on Friday that the long standing and well known managing director of Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company Roger French OBE is to retire in March 2013 - here is the official press release from B&H...

Roger French, Managing Director of Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company is to retire next year after overseeing the operation of buses in the south coast city for 30 years.

Since 1982, when Roger first moved to Brighton, the bus market in the city has grown significantly, with the number of journeys made by bus doubling in the last 20 years.

Roger, who will retire next March said: "Afteryears of being involved in running buses in Brighton and Hove, I have decided it's now time to relax and enjoy my retirement. Of course, I shall miss working with all my fantastic work colleagues in the bus company as well as the many people I’ve worked with over the years and I will always be grateful to everyone for the help and encouragement they have given me. It’s been a particular pleasure to be part of the Go-Ahead Group for the last 19 years.”

David Brown, Group Chief Executive for Go-Ahead said: "Roger has been amazing in the innovative way he has grown the business. He has been instrumental in giving the city the excellent bus network it has today. He deservedly received an OBE for services to public transport seven years ago.

"Roger has inspired his team to deliver a high quality service to passengers and has spent much of his career developing successful partnerships with the local authority and other key stakeholders – partnerships which are rightly hailed as a beacon for others to emulate.

"We will miss Roger, his extensive experience and unique approach immensely. He can retire safe in the knowledge that he will leave behind him a legacy of excellence which will be recognised for many years to come, not just in Brighton and Hove but across the wider bus industry."

Roger chairs Brighton and Hove's Local Strategic Partnership; the Brighton and Hove Business Forum; the Hove Business Partnership; the Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and the Martlets Hospice. Roger is also a member of the city’s Economic Partnership, the Transport Partnership and the Hove Business Association’s Management Committee and is a Trustee of the Argus newspaper’s charity, the Argus Appeal.

In addition to an OBE in 2005 Roger received an Honorary MA from the University of Brighton in 2007. He became a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for East Sussex in 2007.

In 1999 he was awarded Businessman of the Year in the Sussex Business Awards, in 2006 he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Sussex award at the Argus Achievement Awards, in 2009 he was awarded the Community and Stakeholder Management Award at the Passenger Transport Management Awards and in 2011 his contribution to the bus industry was recognised by the prestigious Services to the Bus Industry Award at the UK Bus Awards. He has also overseen the Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company win a plethora of awards over the last 20 years.

In June 2010 he published a book ‘Pride & Joy – my amazing 25 year journey with Brighton & Hove Buses’ which sold nearly 2,000 copies and helped raise around £30,000 for two local charities.

During his retirement, Roger plans to spend time pursuing his interest in travel and transport in the UK and abroad.