Freeman leaves Reading for First
CEO of Reading Transport Ltd, James Freeman, is to leave Reading Buses at the end of September. After almost seven years with the municipal concern, he is to take up the post of MD of First Bristol & West of England. He described the new role as ‘a significant career progression’ and a ‘great personal challenge’. He will take over from Paul Matthews, who has been appointed to the newly created MD position in West Yorkshire.
James said, ‘I have had a wonderful time at Reading Buses. We have created a top quality team here whose success has been measured in awards won, passenger satisfaction at record breaking levels and best of all in the high regard that local people have for the buses here and the people who operate them. My time at Reading Buses is the longest stint in one job of my bus industry career of almost 40 years. In the past seven years I have made many good friends here and learned that Reading is a very good place to be.’
‘While I feel no pressure to leave Reading, I feel that the time has come for a new challenge. For family reasons I need to go back to the West Country – so now I have the chance to return to Bristol where I started my first desk based job in the bus industry as a grade 1b clerk way back in April 1975. As a matter of fact I will be moving back to live in the very same road in Bath where I was born!’
Chair of Reading Buses, David Sutton, said, ‘We are very sorry to be losing James, of course, but we recognise that this is a unique opportunity for him, in both personal and professional terms, and we wish him all the best for the future. He has done a marvellous job for Reading Buses in his seven years with us, and the awards recently won by the company testify to this. We will now be seeking to appoint a successor who can build on all James’s excellent work and maintain the company’s position as an award-winning and innovative national leader.’