‘Connecting the community and putting people at the heart of the business’ is the mission of Joel Mitchell, newly appointed Managing Director at Stagecoach South East.
With 20 years’ experience in the transport sector, Joel joins Stagecoach from c2c Rail where he oversaw operations as the Delivery Director. Running between Essex and London, c2c boasts the best on-time punctuality rates in the country and was named Rail Operator of the Year at the National Transport Awards in 2018.
Joel intends to bring that best practice to Stagecoach with reliability and punctuality at the forefront of his mind.
He said: “This is a people business. If we put our employees at the heart of what we do, they in turn will look after our customers and the business and that’s really what it’s all about. We are here to get people from A to B, on time in an affordable way. Obviously there are challenges but we want to deliver on that mission; we intend to communicate and consult with our passengers, and get our core service absolutely right.
“Stagecoach South East is already a very successful company with a strong leadership team and I’m looking forward to building on that success. We want to continue to grow and help our customers and communities to connect with each other as much as we possibly can.”
Although Joel will be based at Stagecoach South East’s headquarters in Canterbury, he visited all the local depots in Ashford, Dover, Folkestone, Herne Bay, Thanet, Hastings and Eastbourne in his first week and will make regular visits in the future.
Last year Stagecoach celebrated 25 years since taking over the East Kent Road Car Company in 1993. Since then it has almost doubled its fleet to 459 buses, with its new vehicles offering the latest cleaner engine technology to provide greener travel. The company employs almost 1,300 people and carries more than 43 million passengers a year.
Mike Watson, Regional Director at Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “As Joel has so much experience in the transport sector, he has been able to hit the ground running. We are delighted he chose to bring his wealth of expertise to Stagecoach South East and are looking forward to seeing how he can bring further success to the company, making improvements that will really benefit our customers.”
Joel began his career with South West Trains in 1999 before becoming the Head of Performance at Southern Railway in 2010. He went on to spend three years as the Head of Performance at South Western Railway before becoming the Director of Operations & Customer Experience at First Hull Trains in 2015. From there he joined c2c Rail in 2017, before moving to Stagecoach South East.
Joel is from the South East. Having gone to school in Kent and had his first job in East Sussex, Joel, aged 42, now lives in Harrietsham. He is the vice-chair of governors at the local primary school, coaches the Under 10s at Maidstone Rugby Club and is a keen volunteer in the community.
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