Fifty years after he joined the bus industry as an engineering apprentice, Bob Dunn is in charge of Rotala’s greatly expanded business in north-west England. He has been in conversation with ALAN MILLAR, looking back over past experiences and achievements, and considers what the future might bring

Diamond North West 40780 (MX70 AOH), from the large intake of new Wright StreetDecks replacing leased First vehicles at Bolton, in Middleton on the 163 service between Bury and Manchester. 

As Rotala’s regional managing director for north-west England — Diamond Bus North West and Preston Bus — Bob Dunn is responsible for more than half of the 1,566 staff employed by the Alternative Investment Market (AIM)-listed group and has been leading the integration of the former First business in Bolton, Rotala’s biggest acquisition since it was formed 15 years ago. 

While some notable contemporaries have already retired or have announced that they soon will give up their current day job, this is just the latest challenge that Dunn has taken up in a 50-year career in the bus and coach industry. One that took him from engineering apprentice to ownership of a large regional independent while also over a period of 10 years in middle age finding time to study and graduate with three business-related university degrees. 


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