Bus company expanding with recruitment drive for 40 new staff

Phil Hitchen

Bus and coach hire company, Belle Vue Manchester, is creating 40 jobs as part of its next phase of expansion.

The new roles include those of transport director, a dedicated FlixBus manager, a garage manager and more than 30 additional drivers, as well as valeters and mechanics.

Belle Vue has taken on 18 staff so far this year, increasing its workforce to 120. The rest of the new roles will be filled over the next 12 months to support the company’s strong growth.

Managing director, Phil Hitchen, said the additional staff will enable the company to meet increasing demand. Belle Vue, which is based at Discovery Park, Stockport, carries 2.5 million passengers a year across the UK and Europe.

It provides branded transport to a wide customer base, serving the education and corporate sectors, private hire and touring groups, as well as express inter-city services in partnership with fast-growing coach network FlixBus.

Phil said: “We are expanding in all areas of the business and, to cater for this growth, we are in the throes of a major recruitment drive. Along with our blossoming partnership with FlixBus, we are experiencing significant increased demand for day trips, outings, UK and overseas tours, private hire, corporate and sports travel.

“Our strategy to expand all of our income streams is bearing fruit.”

Barry Hayton, who has 36 years’ experience in the coach and bus industry, has been appointed transport director. His role at Belle Vue includes overseeing all garage, fleet and driver operations as well as directing transport services.

Antony McArthur has joined as FlixBus manager and Morgan White has been recruited as garage manager.

Belle Vue’s partnership with FlixBus began in April 2023, with services between Manchester and Leeds, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. This year, it has launched routes to York, Bradford, Stoke, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield. Manchester-Bristol services are due to begin later this month.

Last month, Belle Vue announced an investment of £6m in new coaches to cater for its FlixBus expansion. Further vehicles are to be added to the fleet in the coming months for its private hire and corporate travel operations.

Phil said: “The new training suite delivers CPC training to our transport managers and our driver team. We have our own trainer in Matthew Turner, who is qualified at the highest level to deliver these courses and pass on decades of experience to ensure we continue to provide the highest standards of service.”