Following an extensive selection process of both internal and external applicants, David Astill, Commercial & Operations Director at municipal bus operator Nottingham City Transport (NCT), has been appointed MD in anticipation of Mark Fowles’ retirement in April 2021.
David boasts 32 years’ managerial experience in the commercial bus sector. He joined NCT in 2007 from FirstGroup PLC, where he had latterly been Commercial Manager for the Staffordshire, Cheshire & Merseyside region.
Prior to that David had held posts with First as an Area Manager and General Manager. Early in his career David had a two-year spell as Managing Director of Pennine Blue based in Manchester.
Says David Astill: “I feel privileged and excited to take on the leadership of NCT at this very challenging time for public transport. I am certain with my strong management team we can work together to take NCT forward to continue to deliver an excellent bus network for Nottingham residents as they have come to rely on and expect.
“I am determined to steer the company back to the successful and well regarded position it held prior to the pandemic”
David continued “I am particularly proud to be the first person to head-up the organisation who was born and grew-up in the city we serve.”
NCT is a multi-award winning bus company and holds the record of being the only bus operator to have won UK Bus Operator of the Year five times.
Nottingham has the highest customer satisfaction level of ANY city in the UK including London, as confirmed by the annual Transport Focus survey which in 2019 saw an overall score for NCT at 95% for customer satisfaction. In addition, NCT achieved a 10 year high on all its customer satisfaction scores across all 17 service features in its own passenger research.
Pre-Covid, NCT carried just under 50 million passengers each year, on a commercial fleet of 300 buses, providing a citywide network of over 50 routes.
NCT Chairman, Councillor Graham Chapman said: “David Astill will be an excellent new MD. He has wide experience of the bus industry generally, and really detailed knowledge of the company, we believe he has the determination and enthusiasm to ensure NCT continues to be the best company in the UK.
“In the immediate months post-Covid NCT will need to adapt and I have every confidence that David and his senior management team are more than capable of responding to what will be some serious challenges”
David Astill becomes MD at the beginning of the new financial year in April 2021.
More information about the new NCT Board structure will be announced in the coming months.