Issue 27 • April 2014
WELCOME ABOARD! See page 2
In this issue
Croydon and Orpington join the company
Go-Ahead London welcomes Metrobus garages into the fold
New buses for commercial fleet Page 4
A day in the life of the directors’ secretary Page 8
Richard raises cash for kids' charity Page 9 2
ETROBUS’S Croydon and Orpington garages now operate as part of GoAhead London, as a result of changes implemented on April 1. The move follows the retirement of Metrobus managing director Alan Eatwell at the end of June last year. Because the two garages operate primarily in London, it was felt that Go-Ahead London’s relationship with TfL would benefit them both. The company’s Crawley garage will also experience change, becoming part of Brighton and Hove’s operations. “The two garages operate solely in London on TfL contracts, so the changes make a lot of sense,” said Adrian Tullett, general manager. “In terms of day-to-day operations, drivers
won’t notice too much of a difference. “Back office operations will change to some extent and people will see Go-Ahead London written on their payslips, and the legal lettering on the buses will change to Go-Ahead London too.” Adrian was also quick to point out the benefits that the changes will bring to the garages. “It will help protect our work, give job security to employees and make more resources available to us,” he said. “Metrobus has always run on an extremely tight budget, so there were certain things we could not afford to do before. “It will take some time for the garages to fully adjust to the “back office” changes, but so far everything has gone smoothly.”
Join in Stockwell's celebrations! THIS year, Transport for London and the London Transport Museum celebrate the Year of the Bus – a series of engaging events, exhibitions, recreation and activities that will reconnect Londoners with their bus network and remind the world of the incredible role it plays in this great city. As part of this celebration, Stockwell bus garage will be holding an open day
on June 21 between 10am and 4pm. All funds raised will be donated to a local charity in the Stockwell area. Be sure to show your support by coming along and joining in with the celebration of Year of the Bus. If you would like to be involved in this event, just contact the communications department on 020 8545 6105.
Focusing on the stars behind the cameras... G
O-AHEAD London took home a number of awards from the third annual London On-Bus CCTV Commendation Ceremony, which took place on March 28 at New Scotland Yard. The event is organised by TfL and the Metropolitan Police to recognise the huge amount of behind-the-scenes work done by bus operators and their CCTV teams. Camberwell’s accident prevention manager, Bernie Rajewski, his assistant, Sandra Powell, and Metrobus’s Douglas Dobb won awards for their work in obtaining CCTV footage during the Lee Rigby case. “When you go along to these things, you never expect to win an award, so to receive one was a lovely surprise,” said Bernie. “It is really great to be recognised for all the good work that we have done. “The ceremony was nice and it was good to get into Scotland Yard! “Our award was given for the work we did for the Lee Rigby case. We downloaded footage from the external cameras on every 185 bus so police could track the car driven by the perpetrators in the lead-up to the murder.”
Putney’s Gary Conn and Sutton’s John Scott both received awards for their “total dedication, professionalism and instrumental approach in the use of on-bus CCTV and technical support to the Metropolitan Police and other law enforcement agencies”. “It was a very interesting event. On top of the awards themselves, we were also shown a short film about the use of on-bus CCTV,” said John. “Being rewarded for your efforts is always nice and it was great to see my colleagues winning awards as well.” Gary was equally pleased to receive his award. He said: “I’ve been involved in CCTV for quite a long time now, so it was great to receive some
recognition. “Myself and a colleague were actually responsible for setting it up at Sutton in the first place and events like this prove just how important it has become. “The event itself was very enjoyable too and I even got the opportunity to say hello to some old friends who work for other operators.” To top off an extremely successful afternoon for the company, Go-Ahead London also received a commendation for “their dedication and commitment for reliability and a streamlined approach when supplying on-bus CCTV to the police for investigations.”
I’ve been involved in CCTV for quite a long time now, so it was great to receive some recognition.
Changing roles at Go-Ahead NEW appointments and promotions have been announced at Go-Ahead London. Alex Bainbridge has been appointed accident prevention manager and will spend his first few weeks with Cliff Frost at Stockwell. Meanwhile, Dave Kenny has taken up a promotion to the role of accident
prevention manager at Merton and Sutton. Neil Sadler, Jonathan Bigwood and William Watson have been appointed schedules compilers, while Phil Emson, a schedules compiler with Metrobus, is being relocated to the Go-Ahead London schedules team. These appointments were effective from April 22.
Fleet boosted by trio of new buses T
HE commercial department’s fleet received an upgrade at the beginning of March with the delivery of three brand new buses. Not only do the Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s feature a more modern, spacious interior with room for 79 passengers, they also use a Euro V engine to minimise their impact on the environment. The buses have already been in action as part of the RBS 6 Nations rugby tournament and will also be used for private hire work.
Additionally, they will be utilised for some of the department’s most prestigious contracts at the Wimbledon tennis and Farnborough Air Show. “Some of the vehicles in the department’s fleet are ageing, and we need modern vehicles to meet the demands of our contracts,” said commercial manager Colin Farrant. “These new, modern vehicles will ensure that passengers have a fantastic experience when travelling with us.”
Tender NEWS from across the capital
Sutton will house a pair of the buses and New Cross will look after the third, as there are private hire panels based at each garage. “We are delighted to receive the new vehicles,” added Colin. “The delivery of brand new vehicles into the commercial fleet is a great endorsement for all of those associated with the commercial department at Go-Ahead London and their hard work over the last few years.”
It could be YOU!
IN OUR regular column, we highlight recent announcements made by Transport for London. All are retentions unless stated otherwise. Arriva London n Route 689 (West Croydon to Monks Orchard), a new school day route using existing double-deck bus (1 PVR). Contract begins April 22, 2014.
London Sovereign n Route H13 (Northwood Hills to Ruislip Lido), using existing and new single-deck buses (6 PVR). Contract begins on September 6, 2014.
Metroline n Route 395 (Harrow Bus Station to Greenford,
Westway Cross), using existing single-deck vehicles (4 PVR). Contract begins on September 6, 2014. n Route 332 (Paddington to Brent Park), using new hybrid double-deck buses (15 PVR). Contract begins on October 11, 2014.
Stagecoach Selkent n Route 672 (Thamesmead to Woolwich), the route consists of two afternoon school day journeys. Contract begins on September 6, 2014.
THE 500 Challenge 2014 is now in full swing and we have received the first batch of qualifications for entry into the competition. For a chance of winning the grand prize, a Fiat 500 worth over £12,000 and boasting the latest technology, including an environmentally-friendly engine, all you need to do is what all
Go-Ahead London drivers do best - drive safely and fuel efficiently. To be entered into the competition, you need to become a Driver of the Month winner between March and August 2014. You never know, you could be this year’s winner and the owner of a brand new car! Good luck!
iBus performance manager Debbie Tyson, front, with her team at the iBus hub in Stockwell.
It's all change for the better for iBus teams A
NUMBER of important changes have been made to Go-Ahead London’s iBus teams to ensure that the company is running as efficiently as possible. The responsibilities of the performance managers have now been split into two roles – the iBus performance manager and the roadside performance manager. This means that instead of a single performance manager being responsible for a garage, and the routes operating from that garage, there is now an iBus performance manager and a roadside performance manager per hub.
Focus “The idea is to focus on how the contracts are doing and being more proactive in making changes,” said general manager, service performance Steve Leonard.
“We want to improve the way our side of the business plays its part in an ever more challenging environment.” The iBus performance managers are hub-based and responsible for monitoring staff and raising standards and performance in iBus supervision of the routes. The roadside performance managers are responsible for identifying, and planning for, factors affecting performance on the road. Debbie Tyson, iBus performance manager at Stockwell, said: “I have been in this position since early March and although I previously did an element of this role, I now focus more on staff management and performance. “By splitting our responsibilities, we should see more efficient results, provide the best service for our customers and maintain our targets.”
THE MANAGERS ARE: Bexleyheath hub Brad Faithfull – iBus performance manager Angie Verrillo – roadside performance manager Blue Triangle hub Alan Robson – iBus performance manager Alan Austen – roadside performance manager Sutton hub Martin Bilham – iBus performance manager Des Turner – roadside performance manager Stockwell hub Debbie Tyson – iBus performance manager John Mays – roadside performance manager Tony Johnston has taken on the role of senior night controller at Stockwell to provide increased and enhanced coverage of the iBus night bus supervision. Sandra McKinley will ensure that all routes in PAP have the right control strategies in place. Michelle Davidson, who has been away from work, will return to Blue Triangle later this month.
Money men n There’s a new look to the finance team, with Paul Reeves retiring while John Slattery and Paul Simmers step into different roles. n We sat down to talk to the trio about their plans for the future.
John 'delighted' with ne IN OUR Face 2 Face column, we chat to Reynaldo Jacob, a driver at Waterside Way who has worked for the company since 1979. We ask Reynaldo a series of lighthearted questions. Q: What was your favourite subject at school? A: History. Q: What is the best thing about your job? A: Meeting people and driving the bus. Q: Where in the world would you most like to visit? A: Dubai - I have never been there before. Q: Do you have a hobby or a particular interest? A: I like to play cards at weekends.
FORMER Go-Ahead London chief accountant John Slattery has taken over the role of finance director. The move follows Paul Reeves’ retirement earlier this month. John started out working for Sensormatic, one of the pioneers of retail product tagging, before joining London General as a company accountant in 1997. Since then, he has worked closely with Paul to ensure that all things financial at the company continue to run smoothly. “I was delighted when Go-Ahead London offered me the role, it’s an immense compliment,” said John.
“When I first joined the company, I thought I would only be here for a short time but I quickly fell in love with the industry. “I’ve been chairing performance reviews at garages for a number of years and on every visit I am reminded of how exceptional everyone who works for the company is. “It’s very sad to see Paul go as we have worked together for a very long time, and it will definitely be strange not seeing him in the office every day. “There’s not too much time to dwell on the past, however, as the department is already busy preparing for the year end review and audit in June.”
Go-Ahead L director Joh preparing fo
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have been given? A: The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Q: Who do you most admire? A: My Dad.
AFTER an in London’s fin farewell to t Following as a charter worked his w becoming a industry. Paul then d of scenery a inspiration. “Moving to
Q: What is your favourite film? A: Die Hard – I really like Bruce Willis. Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be? A: I would like to be able to heal people.
n on the move
London’s new finance hn Slattery, above, is or a busy summer.
Paul settles into his new role A NEW financial controller has been appointed by GoAhead London. Paul Simmers has taken over from John Slattery, who is now finance director. Paul joined the company on March 17, having worked for printers Service Point UK for 14 years, finishing as head of finance there. To help him get settled in, Paul took part in an induction programme and sat in on engineering and performance reviews to get a feel for the way Go-Ahead London functions. He also visited Group head office in Newcastle to meet their finance team. “I’d been with Service Point for a long time, so really fancied doing something a bit different with a new set of challenges,” said Paul. “What really drew me to Go-Ahead London was the opportunity to have a direct effect on a vital industry that so many people in London rely on every day. “Settling into the company has not been a problem so far and I have already had the opportunity to see how various parts of the business work. “One of the important responsibilities of a finance department is to provide information to support the business, so my first challenge is to learn how the department operates and to manage and develop the reporting process.”
d Paul says goodbye to Go-Ahead
ncredible 21 years as Go-Ahead nance director, Paul Reeves bid the company on April 4. university, Paul began his career red accountant in London and way up the ladder, eventually a financial director in the paper
decided he wanted a change and looked to the buses for
o work in transport seemed
a natural career move at the time, as the London bus companies were in the process of being privatised,” he said. “I wanted to get involved in a market that had great potential for growth, which the bus industry obviously did.” Paul took to the job easily and said he has always enjoyed his role. He said: “I’ve always found the whole process of winning and retaining tenders to be most satisfying, which is good as we are excellent at it!
“I will definitely miss that, as well as seeing the colleagues who have made Go-Ahead London such a great place to work over the years. “That being said, I am also looking forward to having a bit more time to pursue interests that I just haven’t had time to enjoy during my career. “My long-time colleague and friend John Slattery will be taking over from me, and I know with him at the helm, the department will be in very safe hands."
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF... directors' secretary VALERIE CLARK
“When I see one of our buses picking up passengers, it gives me great pride to be able to say that I was part of making that happen!”
Valerie clocks up 30 years 'making things happen' F OR this issue’s day in the life feature, we sat down with directors’ secretary Valerie Clark, who is celebrating 30 years at Go-Ahead London. On a normal day, Valerie travels to the office by bus and begins her morning the way many people do – by checking her email. From there, Valerie’s next task depends entirely on what is going on in the office that day. “Not only does it depend on what the directors are doing, it also depends on whether there are any events taking place,” she said. “For example, I have recently been busy organising lunch for the company’s retired engineers, which this year included a new venue. "Some events take place around the same time each year, like the long service awards and risk competition dinner in November, so there is usually a good
amount of time to prepare.” Plus Valerie manages the calendar to ensure that there are no clashes in managing director John Trayner and operations director David Cutts’ schedules. There are also regular tasks such as collating the company’s board report.
Contact She is the first point of contact when members of staff or members of the public want to speak to a director. “There was a time when we would regularly get calls from passengers who wanted to speak to the managing director, but the phone number on the buses is different now, and they are directed to TfL so that doesn’t happen as much anymore,” she said. “I also keep a correspondence log, just in case we need to check back if someone has tried to get in touch. And Valerie liaises with the company’s two
graduate trainees, keeping their training programmes up-to-date. She recently supported graduate trainee Alistair Strong when he visited the company from Go South Coast. “Alistair was with us from February to April as part of his training,” she said. “It was my job to sort out his accommodation and travel arrangements." Being able to see a satisfactory outcome to her actions is what Valerie says makes her job so rewarding. “In this industry, you can really see how your actions within the company affect things as a whole,” she explained. “Before I worked for Go-Ahead London, I worked with a company that had interests in the Middle East, which made it hard to visualise the impact of my work. “When I see one of our buses picking up passengers, it gives me great pride to be able to say that I was part of making that happen!”
Kids’ charity benefits from soldier's marathon efforts D
RIVER Richard Harper likes to keep busy – not only is he a member of the Territorial Army but he’s also running the London Marathon. Richard, who is based at Blue Triangle, joined the Territorial Army about a year ago. He previously spent six and a half years in the army. “When I came back to England after leaving the army, it was a bit of a culture shock,” said Richard. “I was getting under my partner’s feet, so she told me to take up a hobby. Then I saw an advert for the TA, so I applied and they accepted me straight away.” “I kept my corporal rank, pay and details from when I was in the army, so I get all the benefits.”
Blue Triangle driver and part-time soldier Richard Harper.
On call Richard goes to the TA on Tuesdays and weekends. He also has to attend a two-week basic training camp every year. “In the TA, you are always on call. If something kicks off, then we will be sent to the front line,” said Richard. “I love it. I am not one of those people who can just finish work and go home.” He has also been training seriously ahead of the London Marathon on April 13. Richard has already raised a substantial amount for his chosen charity, Children with Cancer. “I have done half marathons and triathlons but I have never done a full marathon,” said Richard. “I am getting married this year, so it is a special one, and I wanted to do something for me. So I thought I would support a really worthy cause.” To sponsor Richard, visit www.justgiving.com/ Richard-Harper2 and donate online.
For safety sake, wear the right footwear EMPLOYEES are being reminded that wearing the correct footwear when on duty is of vital importance. Go-Ahead London guidelines state that all employees must ensure they have footwear that allows them to carry out their work in a safe manner. Sandals, trainers and similar casual footwear must not be worn under any circumstances when on duty. A number of drivers think it
is acceptable to wear trainers that are used in the gym or casual shoes worn when relaxing with friends; they are not acceptable, neither are they safe. Furthermore, the likelihood of being reported is high. Therefore, for your own safety, please ensure you wear the correct type of shoes when on duty at work. If you have any queries about this, please speak to your operating manager.
Have a great day out FREE As part of this year’s celebration of the Year of the Bus, London Transport Museum is offering holders of a Go-Ahead Bus Operator pass free entry to the London Transport Museum at Covent Garden during 2014. The offer extends to
you and ONE guest on production of a signed personalised letter from your operating manager and on showing your Bus Operator pass at the museum entrance. Please note that children aged 17 and under have free entry. Enjoy your visit!
From left, Tina Watson, Selma Siret, Michael Olawaiye and Patrick Udogaranya proudly show their IAM pass certificates.
Peckham leads the way in IAM driving qualification A
N advanced motoring course has been a great success at Peckham. Although the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) qualification is available across GoAhead London, it has been taken up with particular enthusiasm at Peckham. In October 2013, four drivers had obtained the qualification. Now 40 drivers hold it, bringing them additional benefits, including cheaper car insurance. “The IAM course raises awareness of driving style. Often, drivers fall into comfortable ways of driving, as we all do, and this serves as a strong reminder of what the driving requirements are,” said operating manager Kastriot Gashi. “I think that drivers take it on board and it makes them better drivers.” To go forward with the IAM examination, drivers first drive in service with mentor Selma Siret on their bus.
She will then discuss with them how they did and give them a pass or a reassessment. If they pass this initial stage, drivers are entered for the test, which they take in their own time at New Cross garage with an IAM examiner. If they pass, they receive a certificate and badge. Selma said: “It is great to see so many people get through and we encourage them to take the test. “While I travel with them, I look at five main areas – safety, comfort of drive, mirrors, the way the drivers present themselves and control. I often only have to do one test because we have some great drivers at Peckham. “A lot of people are now going for it as word is getting around about how good it is to do. In my opinion, everyone should go for it.”
➤ ➤ ➤ A driver's view Tina Watson – Peckham “I took my driving test over seven years ago, so I was a little bit nervous but I just drove how I normally do,” said Tina. “There were just some tiny things that I had to correct. I think the exam was very helpful and it was a great refresher which I think every driver would benefit from. “It really made me open my eyes to all the bad habits that I had fallen into and helped me to see things in a different light. I think every driver in the company should do the IAM test if they can.”
Welcome to the wireless revolution TEN Go-Ahead London garages now have fully commissioned Wi-Fi technology available to employees. They are Stockwell, Peckham, Bexleyheath, Sutton, Northumberland Park, Mandela Way, Blue Triangle, Waterloo, Camberwell and Merton. If you want to make use of the Wi-Fi facility at your garage (which is focused in the output and canteen), the first thing you'll need to do is make sure your mobile phone or tablet is Wi-Fi enabled.
Once you have activated Wi-Fi on your device, it will automatically discover the garage network, which is GL Staff WiFi. Once selected, you will then be required to enter the Wi-Fi code, which is available from your operating manager. By using the wireless access network in your garage, you are acknowledging that you are subject to, and agree to abide by, all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Welcome to Wi-Fi!
Get on the road to a fitter you with new cycle group And bring the family along too
YCLING enthusiasts at Bexleyheath can now share their passion for pedalling, thanks to a new group that has been set up. The Go-Ahead Cycling Group will meet regularly to explore different cycle routes and take part in events. The colleagues will soon be taking on the London to Cambridge cycle ride, a 60-mile event being held on July 27, 2014. “We have the group up and running and now want to start building membership,” said Bexleyheath drivers Chris Shire and Gary Boswell. “A lot of people, including many in the group, got their bikes through the Cycle to Work scheme, so this gives them a great opportunity to use them. “Because of the varied shift patterns that people have to work, we will be flexible on the
times we meet up. “It’s a great way to keep fit and it’s also a very social activity. I would encourage my colleagues to come down and give it a go, especially with the excellent weather we have had recently.” For further information on how to get involved, check the notice board at Bexleyheath or log on to the facebook page, named Go-Ahead Cycling Group. All Go-Ahead London employees and families will be welcomed. Also, keep an eye on the company forum for news and events. The group also has a Just Giving page set up for its London to Cambridge excursion. If you want to find out more about the event, or make a donation, visit www.justgiving. com/go-ahead-cycling-group.
From left, drivers Simon Shire, Chris Shire, Gary Boswell and Rob Spinks.
Employee Commendations BEXLEYHEATH n THE “excellent customer service” provided by Alex Burrows earned him a commendation from Mrs Akhilomen. CAMBERWELL n MISS Horgan praised Hector Coppieters for taking the time to help passengers, describing him as a “lovely guy”. n THE dynamic duo of Abdul Umer and Anthony Gord received a commendation from Dr Livingston for helping him get on the correct bus. n DR WARD wrote in to thank Terry Mulholland for his “courtesy and patience” when dealing with customers. n A RELIEVED Mr Lewis commended Angel Rodrigues for helping to retrieve his misplaced phone. n DONNAH Carp received a commendation from Dr Davies for her “excellent and consistent customer care”. MANDELA WAY n PROVIDING the best service possible
to customers from a broken down bus earned Julie Wade a commendation from Mr Tyler. MERTON n AN IMPRESSED Mr Emmerson wrote in to thank Stephen Appiah, describing him as a “genuine breath of fresh air”. n THE friendly greeting from Peter Doran was the highlight of Miss Green’s journey. NEW CROSS n MR BYRNE described Razvan Ghent as “professional, smooth and polite”. PECKHAM n A MYSTERY traveller had nothing but praise for Eartha Henry, who she described as “extremely helpful and courteous”. PUTNEY n MISS Matthews described Noel Howard as “fantastic and courteous under some rather challenging conditions”. STOCKWELL n THE professional attitude of Kim
Austin earned praise from Ms Kaur, who said she “deserves some recognition”. n COMING to the aid of a customer who got on the wrong bus earned Karen Ryan a commendation from Mr Ibrahim. n MR BENNETT-RICHARDS thanked Sarah Ikhinmwin for her “excellent and helpful customer service”. SUTTON n JOHN Rohan received a commendation from Mr Leigh for his “calmness and consideration” following an incident. n THE kind and considerate manner of Wayne Brandon was highlighted by Miss Lafferty, who said he was a “helpful driver” that explained “ways to make bus travel easier in the future”. n MR EDE thanked Tony Psillides for his “cheerful manner”, adding that he “shows TfL in a good light”. WATERLOO n WHEELCHAIR user Mr Andrats thanked Shane O’Riodan for being “exceptionally kind, attentive, professional and thoughtful” when deploying his ramp.
Trio lead team stepping out on fundraising walk T
and Donald Bradley were joined by a team from Stockwell that was made up of operating manager Hannah Self, engineering manager Kevin Fordyce and payroll supervisor John Petts. The group set a target of raising £1,000 to help the Royal Marsden continue to provide worldclass care for cancer patients. However, the current total stands at more than £1,750! “I saw the march taking place last year when I was out on the road and thought I would try and get involved in the 2014 event,” said Martin. “My wife and I are both ex-cancer patients and we have a lot of family and friends who have suffered from the disease, so it’s a cause very close to our hearts. I tried to get the word out across the company as well, since I’ve heard of colleagues taking part in the past.” Martin is already planning to enter an even bigger Go-Ahead London team in next year’s march. “It was hard work getting to the finish line but we all enjoyed it a lot,” he added. “The Royal Marsden has helped a huge number of people over the years, so it’s great to be able to give something back. “We will definitely be doing it again next year and I would love for it to become an annual event companywide.” If you would like to donate to the Go-Ahead London team, you can do so in one of two ways. You can donate online at www.justgiving.com/ go-ahead-london or on your mobile by texting GAHL59, plus the amount The Stockwell team: John Petts, Hannah Self, Kevin Fordyce. you wish to donate, to 70070.
HE weather could not have been better for the Go-Ahead London employees who took part in the Marsden March on March 16. More than 5,000 people took to the streets for the annual event, which raises money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. The walkers stepped out along a 14-mile route between the charity’s hospitals in Chelsea and Sutton. Prior to the event, Sutton driver Martin Fleming put out a call to colleagues across the company to take part in the march. Martin and fellow Sutton drivers Alan Hodge
WIN £25 £50 in our competition PRIZE COMPETITION - APRIL 2014 Answer...................................................................................................... Name......................................................................................................... Workplace................................................................................................. Home address........................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................
AS IF there weren’t enough reasons to read Bus Talk already, taking part in April’s competition could win you £25! From this issue onwards, every edition of the magazine will feature a competition with a prize of £25 for one lucky winner. For a chance to win, simply work out which GoAhead London employee is featured left. Send the completed entry form below (one per person) to Bus Talk, Ruxley Communications, 81 High Street, Waltonon-Thames, Surrey, KT12 1DN. Or email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postcode......................................... Tel no...............................................
Entries from the same family can be sent in the same envelope. Entry is limited to one per person. The first entry drawn from the hat on June 1, 2014 will win the prize. Terms and conditions apply.