Blackpool Transport appoint a new boss

It has been announced that Blackpool Transport have finally appointed a new Managing Director, some seven months after Trevor Roberts departed from the company. The new boss is Jane Cole who will commence in the position on November 3rd, duly becoming the first ever female manager in the history of the Blackpool tramway!

Jane Cole brings a huge range of experience to Blackpool Transport having previously accumulated more than 35 years of experience in the transport industry. Her career began in Manchester in signalling and telecommunications, before she transferred to Preston in 1990 to work for Intercity, moving again to Virgin Trains in 1996. Most recently she has occupied a senior management role with this company but of note, she is also no stranger to the Fylde coast and is an active member of the Blackpool Business Leadership Forum. Jane has also had previous involvement with both the North West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Visit Lancashire.

Perhaps most importantly for us, Cole has been keen to set out her enthusiasm for her new role in relation to the Blackpool tramway. Despite the Blackpool Gazette describing her as the ‘new bus chief’, she told the press that she was very excited to be facing many new challenges with the company, referring in particular to the upgraded tram system and the aim of extending the existing tramway to create a fully integrated transport network. Her stance on the heritage operation is not yet apparent, although with such a positive attitude it is hoped that she will be keen to exploit its full potential. Starting in her new role at the end of the main tourist season should also give Cole some time to settle down in her new post, and this should allow plenty of discussion to take place ahead of the 2015 season getting underway.

Here at British Trams Online we wish Jane Cole the very best for her future with Blackpool Transport, and we look forward to seeing how she will help the Blackpool tramway to move forward in a progressive manner whilst also acknowledging its unique past.

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7 Responses to Blackpool Transport appoint a new boss

  1. Franklyn says:

    The problem is, where in that massively long CV has she got any experience of operating a tramway? Does she understand the challenges of stage carriage passenger transport?

    Perhaps this would be a good time to totally split the company 3 ways, LRVs, buses and heritage tram service? I’m all in favour of three competing companies. I know which one I’d use when in Blackpool.

    Whatever Jane does, there’s one thing I can say for sure. She probably can’t be as bad as the last bloke. (or the one before come to that!)

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Let’s be honest, the chances of finding someone who has experience of running a tramway to take the job are exceedingly remote (as good as they are, places like Crich, Heaton Park etc. do not count as they are short museum lines!) – personally I think that based on what we have on paper the right person was chosen. Please let us at least give Jane a chance and see how she gets on in her new job before questioning her ability, as she hasn’t even started yet! And as for which mode of transport you’d use when in Blackpool… you’ve already admitted in another thread that you rarely visit the town so that doesn’t really count for much.

    • Peter says:

      Unless our friend Franklyn was actually present at the interview for this job and has had a detailled access to her CV, I find it a little too much that he jumps to the conclusion that she is not the best suited for the job! I agree with Andrew that the chances of finding someone with tramway experience is going to be rare, and even if someone came from another tramway system, then I am sure the argument would be that nothing is like Blackpool! You can never win with some people.

      Personally I see this as a great step forward, and wish Jane Cole all the best for this challenging role.

  2. David Warner says:

    Congratulations and well done to you and Blackpool Transport. I feel sure with your enthusiasm and interest Blackpool Transport will benefit from this, and continue to build on what it has achieved so far.

  3. David L says:

    She might be a lot more heritage friendly than some people are suggesting, her husband runs this company http://www.budgietransport.co.uk/

    Heritage canal trips out of Lancaster.

    DL

  4. Alan Kirkman says:

    I hear nothing but good to brilliant from all my railway contacts some of whom have been or are now involved in as close to Heritage as a TOC gets ceremonial last runs etc. Let us not forget in having stared her railway career in the Proffesional and Technical grades of the S and T department she follows Bryan Lyndop’s example just Manchester rather than Crewe. And i think we all think Bryan is very good.

  5. Christopher Callan says:

    Am really excited about the appointment. Someone with local connections and highly qualified with a passion for improving the area. Very optimistic. Just the type of appointment that was needed. Close ties to rail sector important going forward. Early indications are very positive with respect to heritage. She comes with glowing references from anyone who ever worked with her.

    Welcome Aboard. Good Luck. You can be part of something very very special Jane Cole. Can be very much part of the wonderful tramways history.