One of the best things I ever did during my time as managing director at Brighton & Hove was to get out and about spending half a day each week travelling around the bus network. This would usually be for a morning but also included early mornings, late afternoons and late evenings on occasions to cover the spread of operations.

Crucially, four or five colleagues from the company management team and key members of staff working in back offices (for example schedules and marketing, as well as customer care and travel offices) joined me each week on a rota basis so we could all experience the service as our passengers did, take appropriate action where needed and learn lessons.

I mention this because since retirement, I’m still doing it, but now travelling all over the country for my personal pleasure rather than as a business imperative and it seems clear to me what is lacking is a similar approach from managers of many bus companies today.

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