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Exeter bus manager celebrates 30 years behind the wheel

An Exeter bus driver and Commercial Manager has been awarded for his long service at an awards ceremony.

After completing his A-Levels at Exeter College Chris Comer embarked on a journey with Stagecoach joining Transit Holdings (Stagecoach’s predecessor in the area) in August 1993 at the age of 18.

Starting as a Junior Planning Assistant, Chris worked closely with the Planning Manager in the creation of timetables, and vehicle and driver schedules and after obtaining a PCV license he became a bus driver.

After two years driving on the Exeter city network, where he enjoyed the vibrant city atmosphere Chris took a different route and took up managerial positions within depot operations teams in Torquay and Exeter.

Reflecting on memorable moments during his 30 years, Chris’s notable instances include successfully navigating through significant disruptions caused by weather or unforeseen circumstances.

Chris said: “For me these experiences highlight the resilience and unity of the Stagecoach team, showcasing their commitment to maintaining services for the City even under the most challenging conditions.”

He added: “The sense of achievement at the end of each day, coupled with the ever-changing nature of the operating environment, has been a source of immense satisfaction for me in my 30 years here.”

Chris adds: “The recent awards evening in Exeter was a momentous occasion. Reconnecting with colleagues, some of whom were originally employed two decades ago, added a sentimental touch to the celebration. The long service recognition holds special significance for me and I appreciate the chance to express gratitude to colleagues for their long and loyal service to the company and its customers.”

Chris holds a strategic and commercial role within the company, contributing to the ongoing development of Stagecoach’s network of services.

Stagecoach employees from across the South West including Exeter, Plymouth, Barnstaple and Torquay  were recognised for their loyal service and commitment to passenger transport at a special ceremony.

Since 1996, Stagecoach South West has been operating services across Devon and into Cornwall and Somerset. This year, 56 long-serving staff were acknowledged after accumulating an impressive 1,178 years of service between them, and each one was recognised for their hard work and commitment over the years at a celebration dinner and awards ceremony at Sandy Park, Exeter.

The evening featured a dinner followed by presentations hosted by former radio presenter and transport enthusiast Dave Sheppard.

Stagecoach South West Managing Director Peter Knight said “It was fantastic to come together on the evening to honour our long serving employees who have remained dedicated to connecting people and communities. Over the past 12 months we’ve operated over 14 million miles and carried over 24 million customers – it’s not lost on me the size and scale of what we do everyday in rain, shine, snow and everything else in between and it is important for our teams to know that everything they do for the business and the communities we serve doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Stagecoach South West is one of the largest bus operators in the UK, with a fleet of over 400 buses and coaches serving more than 100 routes across the region.