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FirstGroup's 'Incredible Journey' Set to Become a Transport Bestseller!
Thursday 19 February 2009
A book about the history of Aberdeen based transport giant, FirstGroup, is to be published today in line with the company’s 20 year celebrations.
"An Incredible Journey, the First Story" is written by Martin Helm, a former journalist and Transport Department Information Head who went on to advise FirstGroup.
Helm explores how First has grown so far and so fast and details some of the significant transport developments that have both stimulated the company's growth and impacted on its development. He profiles some of the key people in the Group, particularly Sir Moir Lockhead, who has led it from its birth into the powerhouse it is today.
Commenting Martin Helm said: “It was a fascinating story to write. Who would ever have thought that a small local authority owned bus company in North East Scotland would just 20 years later become one of the largest private sector bus and train operators the world has seen?
“Twenty years ago Grampian Regional Transport boasted 225 buses and 600 staff, all concentrated in Aberdeen. That company, now FirstGroup, has grown to become the UK’s largest rail operator, the UK’s largest bus operator and the largest provider of yellow school buses in North America. It has 137,000 staff and 80,000 buses. I don’t know of any other company, certainly in the transport industry, that has such a remarkable and successful story to tell.”
Chief Executive of FirstGroup, Sir Moir Lockhead, said the book was ‘immensely enjoyable’. “Although I can be accused of bias, I have to say that I found it a marvellous read. I don’t expect it will knock John Grisham off the number one best-seller spot, but it is expertly written and a real must for anyone interested in transport.”
He added: “I don’t often have time to reflect on just how astonishing our growth has been. I think above all reading the book has reminded me just how much our success is due to the quality of our staff. I have been
incredibly fortunate to have had a fantastic team around me over the years.”
The book can be purchased for £25 on Amazon or at www.firstgroupshop.com
This year FirstGroup is celebrating its 20th anniversary. On 20 January 1989 Moir Lockhead, then Managing Director of Grampian Regional Transport, and his team of directors completed an ambitious and groundbreaking employee and management buy-out of the company. That company became FirstGroup.
Martin Helm Biography Martin Helm is a self-confessed public transport enthusiast. He began his working life in journalism, training with regional daily newspapers before moving to Fleet Street. Later he switched careers and became media advisor to three Secretaries of State for Transport in the early 1990s. After a spell with a specialist transport PR and political consultancy, the author set up his own business and started his lasting relationship with FirstGroup.