Bus driver who served Chichester and Bognor Regis retires after 35 years

A bus driver who served Chichester and Bognor Regis has retired after 35 years.
Stephen Holmes with his wife LorraineStephen Holmes with his wife Lorraine
Stephen Holmes with his wife Lorraine

Stephen Holmes, joined Portsmouth City Transport's ‘Red Admiral’ division in 1987, and remained with the company under Stagecoach.

He was a regular driver on the Coastliner 700 service between Portsmouth, Chichester and Bognor Regis.

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He has been a driving instructor during his career and has helped many of his fellow drivers gain their PCV licence, plus he has also enjoyed a number of secondments across the Stagecoach UK bus empire, including Northampton, Norfolk and more recently, provided driving assistance at the Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham.

In a statement regarding his retirement, Stephen said: "Buses have been my life for 35 years and a lot has changed in this time, however I have made the decision to retire to spend more time with my wife and enjoy my favourite sport – golf!

“I have made many friends amongst my colleagues and within the community.”

Explaining how he had seen a transformation in the industry over the years, he said: "It was a totally different job back then, when I started at Eastney on the new minibus network with manual ticket machines, buses were either manual or semi-automatic.

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"Buses now are like driving cars, and fully automatic, with a lot more technology to aid driving and selling tickets".

Colin Ashcroft, who heads the operations team at Portsmouth, and currently acting Operations Director for Stagecoach South, paid tribute to Stephen. He said: “We're super proud of all our colleagues but it's a particular delight that we have people like Stephen, who started under one of the company's predecessors back in 1987.”

"We have many colleagues like Stephen, with long service and that goes to show the important role the buses, and our staff, have to play in keeping our communities connected.”

"We have been honoured to have someone with such good service, enthusiasm and passion and we wish Stephen all the best in his retirement."