Paul Thomas, Stagecoach East Scotland managing director

Stagecoach East Scotland managing director Paul Thomas died suddenly on 10 October, aged 49.

He had held the post since July 2017, responsible for 1,300 staff and a fleet of 500 vehicles, joining from National Express, where as UK Bus MD he was responsible for National Express West Midlands, Xplore Dundee and the Midland Metro tramway. Before that, he spent several years as MD of First Scotland East and entered the industry in 1985 as an apprentice mechanic.

John Disney, Dalesbus director and BUSES contributor

John Disney, a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University’s Business School and occasional contributor to Buses, died suddenly on 20 October, aged 58.

He lived all his life in West Hallam, near Ilkeston on today’s Trent Barton Black Cat route and always used public transport. His interest in hiking led him to become a director of the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company, which organises the Dalesbus network.

He co-wrote a feature in May Buses about the Western Dales community minibus services in Cumbria, and in 2001-06 had several Publicity Matters articles published by the pen name of Dave Johnson.

He was due to give oral evidence to the House of Commons transport select committee on 30 October as part of its inquiry into the health of the bus industry. Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood, who chairs the committee, described him as ‘a real authority on transport matters’.