Ian left Winchmore Secondary in 1975 with “a few ‘O’ levels” and soon started in transport as a furniture delivery driver on the well-loved Luton-bodied Bedford TK.
After a brief interruption to complete an indentured apprenticeship in Project Engineering he was soon back on the road with his HGV Class I still wet in his pocket.
By 1980 he had added his PSV category to his licence and moved over to the passenger sector as a driver of express services. As soon as 1982 he had passed his Transport Manager’s CPC and was promoted to Assistant Transport Manager with a fleet of 100 vehicles to control.
By 1987, Ian was back in the Road Freight sector joining Transcare, a specialist division of Tibbett & Britten as Operations and Planning Supervisor for the Marks & Spencer hanging clothing contract. With the expansion of Tibbett & Britten Ltd from 400 vehicles to the Tibbett & Britten Group plc with something closer to 5,500 vehicles, Ian was moved in 1990 to the Group Head Office as Group Fleet Administration Manager (as Ian has often commented “Big title, small salary”). The position involved Ian being personally responsible for (at one stage) 52 Operator Licences, the MoT, taxation, insurance and ‘O’ Licensing of every piece of road-going equipment, the London Lorry Ban (LBTS) and every prosecution brought against the T&B Group and its drivers.
Ian left TBG in 1995 (the same year he joined IoTA) having ended up in “a career cul-de-sac” and then spent the next nine years freelancing in a number of roles. Equally happy advising operators in a Public Inquiry or Magistrates Court, behind the wheel of an artic on an international journey, acting as an “expert witness” on behalf of insurance companies or simply scheduling coaches for a large independent bus operator, Ian has “been there and worn the t-shirt”.
2001 saw Ian start the first of his five companies, four of which still trade today. Covering driver training, agency drivers, transport consultancy and technical document publication, Ian is ideally situated in the role of the Institute’s Director of Education, Training & Membership.
As Ian has remarked “I have been incredibly unlucky all of my career. I’ve always been in the wrong place at the wrong time and said the wrong thing to the wrong people. But you can learn from that and you can teach others not to make the same stupid mistakes, safe in the knowledge that you know what you are talking about”.