A big job

SJones_imageOn Monday night I went to CPT London & South East’s Transport Manager’s Workshop evening in Newmarket and was pleasantly surprised by the large number of operators present. Many were well known to me while others I’d not met before. There’s a report in this week’s issue so I won’t go into the content here, though I will say that no time watching a presentation by James Backhouse, or indeed any other members of the Backhouse Jones team, is ever wasted.

James and East of England Traffic Commissioner, Richard Turfitt, set me thinking just what a responsible position that of the Transport Manager is and what a difficult and lonely one it can be to occupy if you don’t get the support from your Directors that you need to be effective when disciplining drivers.

Over 30 years ago I applied for a traffic position with the old National Travel East coaching operation at Liversedge, the career path for which might eventually have seen me in a Transport Manager’s role. I didn’t get the job because they thought I looked too young to command authority among the drivers. They were no doubt right at the time and my growing a moustache for a while afterwards would have fooled nobody.

National Travel East is no more and I went down the journalism route instead. In the mean time, exercising continuous and effective management of a business, as a Transport Manager is expected to do, hasn’t got any easier as legislation has grown in complexity. In the light of the Traffic Commissioner’s reminder of the crucial responsibility the position carries, you wonder if some don’t deserve a bit more respect for the job they do?

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