First Cymru’s Paul Taylor recognised for Services to the Industry at Wales Transport Awards
Bus operator First Cymru is in a celebratory mood after one of its key staff members was heralded for his services to the industry at the annual Wales Transport Awards. Swansea-based network planner Paul Taylor picked up his award during a virtual awards event that organisers live streamed on YouTube.
After having driven a First Cymru bus for 11 years, in 1998 Paul swapped the steering wheel for a desk when he was offered the position of network planner based at First Cymru’s Swansea depot.
As one of the most experienced network planners in First Bus, Paul’s input is often sought by his colleagues in other parts of the country. In the 22 years as network planner, Paul has helped prepare network schedules for First’s bus operating companies in Glasgow, Southampton, Devon and Cornwall. He has also mentored new team members at First Cymru and across First Bus UK.
More recently, during the first chaotic phase of the pandemic, Paul and his colleagues faced an unprecedented challenge to make drastic changes to bus services across First Cymru’s South and West Wales network as demand for bus services all but disappeared and still maintain some bus operations so key workers, including NHS staff, could get to work.
Paul Taylor commented:
I am over the moon with the award. It’s already an honour to be nominated and thought of so highly by my company and the judges for doing a job I enjoy doing. There are many people like me in the transport sector who work diligently in the background. I am really pleased on behalf of our unseen team to receive this award.
Jane Reakes-Davies, Managing Director for First Cymru said: “For Paul to be recognised in this way for services to the transport industry in Wales is fantastic and well-deserved. Paul’s knowledge in bus network planning is unrivalled in Wales and his input is often sought by other planners in the wider First Bus business.”
She added: “The pandemic this year has been extraordinary challenging for the entire business, and every single person at First Cymru has pulled out all the stops to keep services going, notably to make sure key workers including those working in hospitals could get to work. Paul and his team have been rock solid in this crisis, having had to adapt, sometimes on an hourly basis, to a new reactive way of working”.
The Wales Transport Awards was founded to celebrate the outstanding achievements of those in the Welsh transport industry and recognises the significant contribution made by the transport sector to the Welsh economy.
Liz Brookes, Founder of the Wales Transport Awards and Owner of Grapevine Event Management said: “First Cymru’s entry for Paul Taylor impressed the judging panel because it was obvious to us that he is held in such high regard by colleagues and the company. He has obviously made a significant impact throughout his career at First Cymru and deserved to be recognised.“
She added: “Although we couldn’t get to celebrate in person with everyone I am so pleased we were still able to recognise these amazing companies who keep Wales moving, especially after such a difficult year. A huge congratulations to all the winners as well as each of the finalists who are also recognised for their hard work and the success this has delivered for them.”
This year’s Wales Transport Awards saw finalists compete for awards in 11 categories. First Cymru made the finals in two categories after entering Paul Taylor for the Services to the Industry category and Training Manager Amanda Thompson for the Women in Transport category. At last year’s inaugural awards event, First Cymru beat stiff competition in the Best Driver of the Year and Transport Team categories.