The Wigan depot, in Ashton-in-Makerfield, was taken over by Stagecoach in December 2012 and has since played an essential role in the local community, proudly serving over 81.8 million passengers who have travelled over 31.5 million miles over the decade.
To mark the 10 year milestone, the depot is celebrating the staff who help to make the depot a special place and a vital part of the local community.
Many of Wigan’s employees come from the borough and were introduced to Stagecoach by family members. Strong family connections run deep throughout the depot, with different generations often working together, building a strong sense of community within the team.
Mike Gaskell, Depot Operations Manager at Wigan said: “I’ve only been with Stagecoach Wigan for twelve months but, as someone who was introduced to the industry by my father over twenty years ago, the environment here immediately stood out to me. We have a great workforce – the team really create a family atmosphere and they are a true pleasure to manage.”
Father and daughter, Stuart and Hermione Kendrick are an example of generational recruitment, with both currently working at the depot. Stuart, who joined the Wigan Depot as a driver almost 40 years ago inspired his daughter, Hermione, to make a huge career change from her previous role in a local nursery.
Dad, Stuart, has experienced many changes during his decades at the depot, with technology completely changing the way the bus services run. The introduction of contactless payments in 2017, the Stagecoach Bus App, enabling customers to plan journeys, track their bus and buy tickets on their mobile, and smart tickets have made travelling by bus easier for the local community and are developments Stuart is happy to have been part of. Stagecoach has also invested greatly in improving its fleet when it took over the depot by adding £12 million of new vehicles, and reducing some popular fares by 50%
Driver, Hayley McLean, is yet another staff member with family connections in the industry. Hayley is a third-generation bus driver, having taken inspiration from her grandfather and both parents, who were in the bus industry. Hayley met her partner Darren whilst working at the Sharston depot, and the pair rely on the flexibility at Wigan to allow them to manage family life with their young family.
Hayley said: “The flexibility on offer here is brilliant. Sometimes Darren and I are like passing ships, but our work allows us to be there for our little girl and maintain family life.”
Husband and wife, Jamie and Chloe Sinclair, are also both bus drivers who met at Stagecoach in 2001 and now have two children. Chloe’s mother, Joyce is also a driver at Wigan and has recently been rewarded with a Long Service Award for her 21 years of service.
Lee Wasnidge, Managing Director at Stagecoach furthered these sentiments, adding: “Congratulations to Stagecoach Wigan on its 10th birthday. Throughout the last ten years whole depot team’s hard work, community-minded spirit, family-focused approach and commitment to excellence has allowed us to deliver amazing customer service for all of our customers. I look forward to watching the continued success within the region and hopefully, welcoming more great people to the team.”