Two new management appointments at Stagecoach UK Coach Division

One of the biggest entrepreneurial Scottish successes in recent times has been the international development of the Stagecoach Group founded, driven and steered by Brian Souter.

The transport group has now made two management appointments at its UK Coach division, the start and perhaps the heart of the transport business empire.

  • Former General Manager, Ian Laing, has been appointed as Projects Manager; and will now coordinate events and special projects within the Group’s UK coach business.
  • Stagecoach North Scotland Operations Manager David Beaton has been appointed Operations Director of the UK Coach division; and will manage the division’s and Scottish Citylink operations across the UK and Europe.

Both men are already in post.

Elizabeth Esnouf , Managing Director of Stagecoach’s UK Coach division, says: ‘I would like to congratulate Ian and David on their new appointments. It is an exciting time for our coach businesses and I look forward to working closely with our senior management team to continue to drive forward our coach network in the UK as well as delivering support for events across the country.

“’Coach travel is growing in popularity – it is a comfortable and affordable way to travel and we look forward to attracting even more people on to our greener, smarter coach services.’

Ian Laing began his career in the transport industry as a driver in Glenrothes in 1982. He was Operations Manager for Stagecoach in Newcastle and Bolton before leaving in 1999. He returned to the company in 2005 as Operations Manager; and in 2010 he also became Operations Manager for Scottish Citylink. In February 2012 Ian was appointed General Manager for and Scottish Citylink.

David Beaton joined the Scottish Bus Group in 1988 in Edinburgh as a driver for Eastern Scottish. In 1997 he was appointed Depot Manager for Rapsons Coaches with responsibility for Portree and Fort William Depots. Following the Stagecoach acquisition of Rapsons Coaches in 2008, David became Operations Manager for Skye and Fort William and has also carried out a commercial role with Stagecoach Highlands for the past year. was launched in the UK in 2003 and revolutionised coach travel by offering fares from just £1* via a simple online booking system. Almost five million passengers now use services in the UK every year, which operate to more than 60 locations across the country as well as in Europe.

Scottish Citylink, which is a joint venture between Stagecoach and international transport group ComfortDelGro, connects 200 destinations and delivers 400 journeys a day.

The company has also recently begun a new express coach service direct from Buchanan Street Bus Station in Glasgow to Edinburgh Airport. There is an Argyll connection here since the operator of the service for Scottish Citylink is West coast Motors, also partner in other Scottish Citylink services to the west.

This is a serious contribution to the lifestyle of those living on the west coast of Scotland and to its tourism sector development, with the ease of transferring direct at Buchanan Street either to the Airbus out to Glasgow Airport or now to the Citylink fast Express to Edinburgh Airport.

This opens up easy access to a much wider range of air travel destinations and offers ready access to the glorious west coast of Scotland to international air passengers arriving in Edinburgh.

We understand that the service is already successful and look forward to hearing of its progress over time.

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One Response to Two new management appointments at Stagecoach UK Coach Division

  1. Stagecoach is clearly a success story, but there have been hiccups – I’ve seen Brian Souter’s outfit being called to book for trying to get away with operating a fleet of clapped out buses (in Devon), and folk here will remember the ‘bus wars’ in Argyll a few years ago.
    There’s a distinct element of the ‘cowboy’ in Souter, and while this has probably been an essential element in his path to success it’s not always an admirable trait.
    One point about Citylink is the way the brand has been diluted by individual operators applying different liveries, and by Stagecoach Express operating the ‘missing links’ that would logically make Scottish Citylink more effective as a national bus system. Aberdeen – Inverness is the obvious one, but the south of Scotland is also missing from the map, with links between Glasgow / Edinburgh and the Borders towns, and Dumfries, all Stagecoach Express. I can’t help feeling that Scottish Citylink could be a more successful network if it wasn’t quite so much in the grip of Souter, but maybe Comfort Delgro is too far away from Scotland to be interested in anything except the short-term bottom line.

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