David Astill, the new Managing Director of Nottingham City Transport, has announced notable changes to the management team at NCT, England’s largest municipal bus company and winner of the UK Bus Operator of the Year award a record breaking five times.

In view of the uncertainty over the future shape and size of the business in the post-Covid environment, the opportunity is being taken to operate with a slimmed-down board of only three executive directors.

The executive board will comprise of David as Managing Director (pictured, right), Rob Hicklin (pictured, left) as the long-standing Finance Director (and deputy Managing Director) and Ben Potgieter (currently Head of HR) as HR Director (pictured, centre).

As David explains “Our Engineering Director, Gary Mason, will be retiring from NCT at the end of this calendar year. Gary has made a significant contribution to this business and will always be associated amongst other things with driving through the bio-gas bus project at NCT. Indeed, with 120 such buses and more on order, Nottingham can boast the largest fleet of biogas powered double-deck buses in the world. On behalf of all staff, I wish Gary a well-earned long and happy retirement.”

Marketing Director, Nicola Tidy, will also be stepping down from the board. Nicola provided the impetus to establishing the GO2 network of high frequency services and the colour coding of the route network, as well as establishing the Travel Centre on South Parade and generally introducing a more customer-focussed approach to the NCT business. David explained “I am pleased that Nicola will remain with the company in a part time role as Strategic Projects Manager. Nicola will continue to oversee our ticketing and IT developments.”

David went onto say “It is with great pleasure that I can confirm the appointment of Liam O’Brien, our current Chief Engineer, as the new Head of Engineering and Anthony Carver-Smith, our current Marketing Manager as the new Head of Marketing.”

David added “I congratulate Ben on his appointment to the board and confirm that the Facilities Maintenance and Health & Safety sections within our business will now operate as a stand-alone function of the HR department, recognising the importance of safety and well-being across the entire business.”

These new appointments take effect from 1 September 2021, although Gary won’t retire from the business until Christmas. Other management positions are unchanged.

David summarised by saying “These alterations represent the biggest change in two decades to a very stable management team at NCT. Whilst it is a big step, it is actually the culmination of an evolutionary process. I am particularly pleased that these three promotions demonstrate this company’s ethos of nurturing and developing its own staff as preparation for more senior roles.”

He concluded by saying “We are entering a period of great uncertainty but also great opportunity as we drive our business through the recovery period from the pandemic. I am confident we have the mix of personalities and collective abilities to succeed as a team and business.”