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Retiring director is on the Brighton and Hove buses
For three decades he has been in charge of the buses, making sure they run to schedule.
But, in the run up to his retirement, Roger French is now appearing on the front of one of the city’s red and cream vehicles.
Workers at Brighton and Hove Bus Company secretly took the decision to rename a bus after their boss to mark the contribution he has made as the firm’s managing director over the last 30 years.
Mr French said it was a “complete surprise” to hear of the honour, which is usually only granted to people after they have died.
Mr French, who will retire on March 22, said: “I’m amazingly touched by the thought of my colleagues.
“Never in my wildest imagination did I think my name would be on the front.
“I do hope though that once these two weeks are up then the company goes back to only naming vehicles after those who have died, a year after they have been deceased.
“It really is a fitting tribute and I wouldn’t want to see that changed.”
The double decker is used on a variety of routes and is based in the firm’s Whitehawk garage.
On the side will be adverts for the Martlets lottery, a charity Mr French has been chairman of for many years.
The bus will most likely be used on the 23 service, from Brighton Marina to the universities, and the 21 from the marina to Brighton Station.
It could also be used as cover on the number 1 from Mile Oak to Whitehawk.
Mr French joins a select group of people to receive the honour while alive.
He said: “We have had a number of exceptions but just for a short time.
Walk of Fame
“In the beginning of the project of naming buses, in collaboration with the Walk of Fame at Brighton Marina, we did name some buses after the people there.
“There was also an exception for my good friend [and former Argus journalist] Adam Trimingham before he retired.
“We also offered people the chance to buy the opportunity as a way to raise money for the Argus Appeal.
“Some of the workers from the Whitehawk bus garage came together one year to do that.”
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