Lee Wasnidge to succeed Elisabeth Tasker in 2021

Lee Wasnidge.
  • Lee Wasnidge joins Stagecoach’s largest bus company on 04 January 2020;
  • Successor to Elisabeth Tasker has Background in running rail and air services in Greater Manchester at senior level;
  • New MD has extensive customer service and stakeholder management experience, whilst recognising Stagecoach’s major role in supporting the North West’s economy.

Today, Stagecoach Greater Manchester has announced the appointment of Lee Wasnidge as their new Managing Director for its bus operations across the City Region. Stagecoach Greater Manchester is the largest constituent of Stagecoach Group’s bus operations with two significant bases in Wigan and South Manchester. With the possibility of franchised bus operations coming to Greater Manchester, it is the hottest of hot seats in the UK bus industry.

Lee, who has extensive experience across public transport, airports and retail, will join on 04 January 2021. It follows a competitive process involving internal and external candidates over a number of weeks to search for a successful candidate to run Stagecoach’s biggest bus company. He will succeed Elisabeth Tasker, who announced in August that she was planning to retire in January to spend more time with her family after spending 20 years with Stagecoach Greater Manchester.

Lee will be responsible for 2,300 employees and more than 750 buses operating across Greater Manchester enabling around 106 million bus journeys a year. Over the past five years, Stagecoach Greater Manchester has invested more than £37million in new buses and services. This includes the introduction of the region’s first double decker electric buses representing one of the biggest single investments in electric buses anywhere in Europe.

Most recently, Lee was Customer Service and Security Director for Manchester Airport Group, delivering front line services to 30 million customers a year. He has worked in senior customer service positions across a range of sectors, including Northern Rail and Transdev. Also for ASDA, Iceland, Pets at Home and PepsiCo. At 56-years old, he also has extensive experience of stakeholder engagement, having worked closely with national and local authorities and major business groups throughout his career. He lives near Chester with his wife and two children.

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, their findings saw that the Stagecoach Group has a major presence in the North West. The company supports nearly 4,500 direct jobs and a further 1,500 jobs through the supply chain. For every pound in direct GVA contributions, an additional 61p is pumped into the wider regional economy.

Carla Stockton-Jones, UK Managing Director for Stagecoach said: “We’re delighted that Lee will be joining Stagecoach Manchester in January.

“Our bus services play a major role in connecting communities across Greater Manchester and as we start to re-build from the impact of Covid-19, our priority is to work with stakeholders to deliver the best and most sustainable bus network for the region in the longer term. Lee’s vast experience will help us to ensure we are in the best position to maximise the significant opportunities for public transport in the future.

“At the same time, we must play tribute to Elisabeth Tasker for her fantastic contribution to the business and the local community, and wish her the very best for her retirement. Under Elisabeth’s leadership, major investment has been made to improve services for customers, with new buses and new services including the recent introduction of region’s first ever double decker electric buses. She has been a great asset to Greater Manchester and I’m sure everybody will join me in wishing her well.”

Lee Wasnidge added: “Greater Manchester is a hugely important region and there are some massive opportunities to help the region grow. Our bus services play an extremely important role in Greater Manchester, the powerhouse of the north, and are vital to supporting the local economy and communities as we recover from COVID-19.

“Partnerships will be crucially important as we move forward into the post-COVID world in ensuring that public transport supports the country’s green recovery. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with Transport for Greater Manchester and Greater Manchester Combined Authority and building new relationships with all the other stakeholders across the region as we work together to ensure Manchester has a world-class transport system.”

An EM60 Presentation, 15 December 2020.

Image of Lee Wasnidge courtesy of PRgloo Limited.

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