2017 Young Manager of the Year

sponsored by

This Award focuses specially on the talent we will all rely on to deliver our bus services for the next 20 years and more: the young managers, currently delivering and planning services at the sharp end – but whose skills will be vitally important over the coming years as the bus increasingly comes to be seen as an aid to reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change.

Results 2017

Winner, Gold Award

Dan Bassett – Reading Buses

Last year's silver award winner is going for gold in 2017. Dan Bassett from Reading Buses.

Dan Bassett is responsible for the management of Reading Buses’ day-to-day operations at depot level. This involves overseeing 448 drivers across the Reading and Newbury depots, 15 control room and supervisory staff, a resources supervisor, a new revenue supervisor, two Assistant Operations Managers and an Operations Manager. Dan is the key ingredient to making operations run smoothly. He motivates and leads his teams to ensure services are delivered in the best and most efficient way possible. Most importantly he’s delivered tangible results making Reading Buses’ services better for customers and employees. Last year, reliability and punctuality improved, a whole network in Newbury was mobilised within just five weeks and there are 17% fewer accidents per 100,000 miles. Dan has achieved all of this, plus a promotion to Head of Operations, at the 29. That’s testament to his hard work and commitment to Reading Buses and in making changes to the business to make sure he’s getting the best out of all his employees, with a focus on the end-customer.

The judges said that Dan impressed them as a well rounded manager with a big emphasis on the importance of people in the organisation – staff and customers. His focus in his current role on reliability and punctuality is bringing benefits to Reading Buses’ passengers. A strong candidate and worthy Gold Winner.

Winner, Silver Award

Mark Mageean – Stagecoach Manchester

Stagecoach Manchester's Mark Mageean.

Mark Mageean was appointed Operations Manager at Stagecoach Manchester’s Wigan depot in autumn 2014, following his successful turnaround of the company’s newly acquired Middleton depot where Mark created a ‘family’ atmosphere, finding ways to meet the needs of employees such as offering flexible working that met both the needs of the business and individual staff. In his current position at the Wigan depot, Mark demonstrates an analytical approach to managing punctuality issues, using feedback from staff and customers along with analysing GPS data to make improvements to punctuality. Well known as a friendly and approachable leader, Mark is well respected among staff where he’s worked. He’s a firm believer that you should not expect people to do something you would not be prepared to do yourself and makes sure that he goes out driving in service at least a couple of times a month. His industry knowledge, commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service combined with his management skills and personality makes him a great asset to the company.

Mark impressed the judges with his turn around of the Wigan depot, and they think he has bright future ahead in the bus industry.

Winner, Bronze Award

Ben Mansfield – Transdev Blazefield

Ben Mansfield who is working to promote Transdev's operations across Northern England.

Ben Mansfield joined the bus industry six years ago and worked across a range of disciplines, showing a flair for marketing. After turning around a failing company as Service Performance Manager, he took the skills he learned in service delivery into a marketing position at Transdev Blazefield, being promoted to Marketing and Communications Manager in the middle of last year. He appreciates the difficulties of day to day running of buses, and works with people to ensure that a marketing campaign delivers. He has also gained respect from the operations department by driving buses to photo calls himself, and has shown that he is willing tackle issues practically by assisting with graphics fitment. Ben goes beyond the role of a manager, and beyond the expectations of what an employer would expect of a person of his age and experience, a person who finds it easy to engage with directors and senior managers who have a significant experience advantage to him. He is determined and hard-working, and yet maintains a calm and friendly approach – which is perfect in the product-led business undergoing transformational change in which he works. He buys in to – and helped create – Transdev Blazefield’s to be an ‘Amazing Bus Company’. He continues to excel at all tasks thrown at him, and is passionate about the industry.

Ben impressed the judges with his ability to bring knowledge gained from an operational background, into his current role in marketing – where he is excelling – becoming a very good all rounder.


Paul Hickinbottom – Arriva Midlands

Paul Hickinbttom, who manages the engineering function at South Wigston depot.

As its Engineering Manager, Paul Hickinbottom runs one of the top performing Arriva bus depots in the country, South Wigston in Leicestershire. He combines a thorough, methodical management style with an open and approachable attitude and works hard to motivate and inspire his team to perform at their best. A team player through and through, Paul sets a great example for everyone at the depot and is a believer in mentoring his staff, with one of his apprentices winning an apprentice of the year award as a result of his support. A great communicator, Paul can work closely and effectively with staff at all levels from senior manager to apprentice, and is dedicated to providing excellent customer service. He has full accountablity for a P&L in excess of ú3m.

Described as a bright young engineer who has risen through the ranks, the judges thought Paul is doing a first class job in a difficult environment.

Dean O’Neill – RATP Dev London

Dean O'Neill who focuses now on managing risk at RATP's Park Royal garage.

As an excellent Driver Training Supervisor and now a Garage Risk Manager at RATP Dev London’s Park Royal depot, Dean O’Neill has the hallmarks of a first-class manager. He is inspiring, motivating and never takes his eye off those accident reduction figures, despite achieving a huge reduction over the past couple of years, there is always scope for improvement and he hopes to gain a further 10% improvement this year. The garage used to be above its target figure fo accidents, but is now the lowest. He has a great relationship with drivers and prides himself on knowing each one by name. He is always willing to share a joke with drivers, but he’s always serious about safety. His expectations are high but Dean’s engaging personality and frank, straight-to-the-point approach wins drivers over very quickly. Because of this, he is confident that he can walk into any bus garage with a high accident rate and change the culture to reduce it.

The judges were very pleased to see this entry, which comes from a part of the business that is often not championed, but is one where Dean is clearly excelling.

Who can be nominated?

This Award was open to all managers under the age of 30 who:

  • lead an organisation or major business unit in a professional capacity
  • own and operate their own business employing more than five people
  • work in a local authority, government department or quasi non-governmental organisation with functional responsibility for more than five staff

and by whom?

We welcomed nominations from all eligible organisations, both of their own employees and of outstanding young managers with whom they work in partnership or as stakeholders. Self-nomination was not considered appropriate for this category. In all cases, the person nominated was required to confirm their agreement to their name being put forward.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The judges reach their decisions on the quality of the written submissions made by the nominating organisation and by the nominees themselves.

Short-listed entrants were required to make a presentation to the judges and be interviewed by them.

Nominating organisations had to be able to demonstrate that the nominees have shown excellence in management and leadership and that this has been recognised by them.

Nominees needed to demonstrate:

  • An ability to manage complex tasks, people, processes and the environment in which their organisation operates
  • Effective communication skills with both staff and stakeholders
  • A commitment to mentoring or other leadership activities
  • Demonstrable ability to perform to a budget.

Short-listed finalists were required to make a 10-minute presentation either:

  • on the role of their organisation in the community and the wider transport market, or
  • on a subject of their own choosing relevant to the transport industry

And to answer questions from the judging panel (also 10 minutes).

Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters, including