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25 Feb 2020
Stagecoach East Midlands have named one of their new vehicles after a local teenager with autism and a passion for buses.
Josh Taylor, 16 from Langworth, penned a letter to the bus company after learning that his favourite buses had been removed from his regular route and had been transferred to Long Sutton.
He made a polite request for the Scania E400 buses to be returned to the 56 route to Lincoln, explaining that his autism makes him very sensitive to change and that the fleet adjustments had left him feeling uneasy. He also praised the drivers on the route for being “amazing” and “very helpful”, adding that they “do a great job of running the buses efficiently”.
“We were really blown away by the politeness of Josh’s letter”, said Mick Forbes, Engineering Director at Stagecoach East Midlands. “It was clear that he had been greatly affected by the changes, and showed great initiative in writing to us. Although we were unable to bring back his favourite buses to the route, we were keen to help him overcome the shock of a new routine and support him as best we could”.
Josh was invited on a full tour of the Stagecoach East Midlands maintenance garage in Skegness, where Mick showed him around and let him get a feel for the buses. They then went to the bus station where he met the Operations Manager, Ian Naylor, and learnt how the Stagecoach East Midlands team organise the vehicles and allocate buses to particular services.
It was there that he was told he was having a new bus named after him.
Josh said: “Receiving a tour of the depot and seeing first hand the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes has helped lift a lot of my anxiety. I feel really lucky to have my name on the front of a bus, Mick went above and beyond to listen to my concerns and alleviate them as much as possible.
Of course being autistic means I will always have anxiety about most things I do but it’s clear the Stagecoach East Midlands team are trying their very best to ensure I have minimal anxiety whilst travelling with them and I am very thankful for that”.
Josh’s bus will be an ADL E400 running between Skegness and Lincoln.
Matt Cranwell, Managing Director at Stagecoach East Midlands, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Josh to manage his anxiety caused by these changes to our bus fleet. From his first contact with us he has been nothing but polite, and his story is a real reminder that buses have a key role to play at the heart of our communities.
We look forward to seeing Josh’s bus on the road, and would like to thank him for getting in touch with us.”