trentbarton boss to call time on 50-year career

Jeff Counsell

The managing director of one the region’s best-known bus companies is to retire next year after spending 24 years with the firm.

trentbarton and Kinchbus boss Jeff Counsell will call time on a near half-century career in the transport industry this February, with the firm’s commercial director Tom Morgan stepping into the newly created role of managing director (buses) for its parent company Wellglade.

Counsell began his career as 15-year-old engineering apprentice at Lancashire United Transport in the 1970s before joining trentbarton in 1999 as engineering director.

He became managing director of the iconic East Midlands firm in 2009.

Counsell said: “Throughout my years the industry has seen many opportunities and challenges including deregulation, recessions and the pandemic. But our industry is all about people and our people at trentbarton and Kinchbus always pull together.

“It’s a great team – from the bottom to the top. Our frontline staff are always impressive. Our drivers, our engineers, everyone, they never flinch from the challenges. I’m deeply proud of them and will miss being with them.”

Wellglade chairman Brian King said: “Jeff has played a key role in keeping trentbarton and Kinchbus at the forefront of the bus industry.

“They have won numerous awards from not only the bus industry but also the business community.  When he retires next February, he will be able to look back proudly on his career in buses.

“Tom’s new role will cover the commercial, operational and external relations activities of our bus companies. He knows the businesses and the area well from his current and previous positions.”

Morgan joined Wellglade in 2009 to work on the Nottingham Tramlink project and has since worked as trentbarton’s assistant operations manager for Derby and general manager at Kinchbus.

He said: “I’m very grateful to Jeff for his guidance and faith since bringing me into the business in 2009 and for the chances to progress in my career. I’m incredibly excited about what lies ahead.

“The bus industry has gone through a difficult time, but the future is full of opportunities which we are well placed to grasp by listening to our customers, maintaining our high standards, continuing to innovate, embrace new technology and by investing in and empowering our dedicated and passionate team members.”