PAUL Sammonds has been appointed to help steer a bus company towards post-Covid-19 recovery.

He is the new planning manager with Transdev, which runs Keighley Bus Company.

Working as part of the firm’s commercial team, 35-year-old Mr Sammonds will cover seven operating subsidiaries across the north.

His role will include reviewing the bus network as the economy picks-up and travel patterns change and seeking new opportunities to boost passenger numbers.

“It’s a challenging yet exciting time to come on board with Transdev – which has won an excellent reputation as one of the most progressive and innovative names in the bus industry,” said Mr Sammonds, who previously worked as commercial manager with Stagecoach Yorkshire.

“My new role involves network planning, both in terms of developing the existing network and finding new opportunities for growth.

“Travel habits for work have undoubtedly changed as a proportion of businesses continue with staff working from home for all or some of the time, while the market for local and regional leisure journeys looks promising with many more people ready to discover all that our region has to offer for day trips and short breaks.

“Transdev is always a step ahead of the wider bus industry in marketing great brands. It’s that fantastic reputation which attracted me to become part of the team.”

The appointment is welcomed by Transdev chief executive officer, Alex Hornby.

He said: “I’m delighted Paul has joined us – he brings a wealth of experience with large bus operators in Yorkshire and Manchester, as well as that all-important grounding in understanding the role of a bus driver. He has a track record and has already achieved a lot of positive results with new product launches in very competitive markets.

“Paul’s fresh ideas and forward thinking will help us develop our ‘back to bus’ strategy for these changing times and create new opportunities to develop and grow our business across the north – and as always, our customers will be the first to benefit.”

Mr Sammonds joined the bus industry in 2005 as a part-time driver during his student years, before graduating in transport and logistics management at the University of Huddersfield. He then joined transport group First as a trainee scheduler and became part of a team delivering regional efficiency projects.