I first heard the news lunchtime today, immediately investigated elsewhere and the stories were mixed, as it always is before official announcements are made. Initially staff were told that Mr Eden had been placed on compassionate leave, would then go on holiday and return. However, the circumstances surrounding his exit late last week told me that simply wasn't the case and it was just a matter of time before his permanent departure was confirmed.
I have a lot of respect for how Philip Eden reorganised the Anglian network. I like the way routes have been linked together and this has also proved popular with passengers. As a strategist he has helped Anglian develop and become a force to which passengers remain loyal to.
However, and these are my personal views, the Anglian fleet has been decimated to such an extent that vehicles not fit to go on the road are being pressed into service because there are simply not enough spare vehicles available. I hope my comments yesterday about the Tridents are really taken on board, for example, and the fleet is controlled and managed so that there are enough vehicles available without drivers having to take buses out that really should be over the pits.
I have also seen at first hand his man management skills, which belong in the 19th century. To shout at staff the way I have heard him do doesn't belong in the industry, and the turnover of drivers in the last 12 months has been simply staggering. I am convinced that morale at Anglian will rise as a result of today's news, staff absenteeism and accidents will fall, and a more stable workforce will be in place. I look forward to announcing who Mr Eden's successor is in the comng weeks, and wish Anglian all the success for the future.
|The future's bright - the future's yellow! Line up of Scanias at Anglian yesterday