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.