Alan J Whittington FInstTA
Alan entered the transport industry in 1972 at the age of 21 as a bus driver for National Bus Company subsidiary, London Country Bus Services. Studying and passing the IoTA examinations at Thurrock Technical College, winning the Albert Polaine Award for the best results by a student in the South East assisted a rapid series of promotions. In 1978 he was invited back to the college as a visiting lecturer to teach the new Transport Managers’ Certificate of Professional Competence, thereby becoming one of the first people in the country to teach CPC courses. By the time he left National Bus in 1981 he had been through depot management to the position of Area Training Manager. There followed a number of senior managerial positions in the passenger and freight sectors of both the private and public sides of the industry until 1991 when he founded his own training and consultancy company which continues to provide advice and tuition to the industry.
Alan joined the Institute in 1976 as a Student Member progressing through the grades of Graduate, Associate Member and Member before being elected a Fellow in 1993. He has served Essex Centre continuously from 1977 as a member of its Committee having been Education Officer, Programme Officer, National Council Representative, Vice Chairman and Chairman, twice. At national level he spent a year on the National Education Committee and served on various Working Parties before joining the National Elections Committee in 1991, becoming its Chairman in 1993. He retained the chair of the combined Membership and Training Committee during the mergers of the late ‘90s and remained on the committee until his election to Deputy President in October 2007.
During the past few years he has represented IoTA at numerous external events in addition to giving invited presentations at IoTA centres. He has also been successful in raising the Institute’s profile by means of the training courses and consultancy services provided by his company and by interviews he has given on BBC Radio Lancashire and Manx Radio.
Alan is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen in the City of London, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, A Fellow of the Institute of Business Consulting, a member of the Roads and Road Transport History Association and a member of the London Underground Railway Society.
Ray Rowsell FInstTA
Ray started his working life as an accounts clerk having left school with a handful of GCEs. In 1965 fate intervened. A director of the brewery he worked for was also a committee member of TRTA (forerunner to FTA) alongside Norman Putman, later to become the Institute's Education Committee Chairman, who was trying to get the first institute education programme off the ground. Ray was asked (in an encouraging sort of way!) if he would like to take part in that first course. He jumped at the opportunity although it meant attending the local college for several evenings a week. He joined the Institute, via Portsmouth Centre, as a Student. Many evenings, straight from a day's work, spent at Highbury College and many exams led to upgrades, first to Graduate, then to Associate Member. He still has the engraved fountain pen awarded to him as "Best Student". Soon he was asked to join the Portsmouth Centre Committee, quickly becoming Centre Secretary where he remained until 1980. Whilst Centre Secretary, he attended many national meetings as an observer. In 1978 he married Jan (who also produced the centre minutes!) and their son, Nathan was born in 1979 when, due to a promotion to Deputy Distribution Manager responsible for customer deliveries across large area of the South, they moved to the New Forest. He stayed at Romsey Brewery, where he was promoted to Warehouse and Administration Manager, until 1985.
For the next few years, he supported both Southampton and Portsmouth Centre open meetings whenever the job and a young family allowed. He recalls working long hours in those difficult times when "strike" was one of the most used words in the transport world!
In 1985 another promotion to Regional Distribution Services Manager required the family, now including Kate who was born in 1982, to move back to Portsmouth to set up a new facility to support 6 depots and he re-joined the centre committee that continued to thrive. However, over the ensuing years, age took its toll on centre and committee members and it was merged with Southampton Centre to become Solent Centre in 2001. Ray joined that committee and was elected as chairman in 2003 a role he held for a number of years. The family move was quickly followed by another promotion, this time to head office in London, which gave him national responsibility for managing the use and development of computer systems for by the distribution function across 40 locations. He stayed at head office, in a number of senior roles including the restructure of the depot network, until he took early retirement in 1999. Post retirement he managed a small solicitors' practice for 10 years during which time he helped that business double in size.
For many years, Ray was National Treasurer of the Lorry Driver of the Year Association and he says never had the desire or confidence to aspire to National Office in the Institute, preferring to promote education and membership locally where he was instrumental in the formation of Sussex Centre. However, in 2005 he was persuaded by centre colleagues to be put forward for F&GP Committee to which he was elected and served for a number of years. He was National Treasurer from 2006 to 2008, a Lay Auditor from 2013 until 2019 and a Trustee in 2019
Although a keen sportsman, he played football, cricket and tennis in his younger days, his enduring interest has always been "things with wheels". This interest probably started when, in the school holidays, he sometimes accompanied his father, a drayman, delivering beer to public houses across the South of England. Little did he know that 30 years later he would become the manager responsible for that delivery fleet! For several years he was involved in teaching young people to drive with the Under 17s Car Club. He has been a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorist for more than 30 years and enjoys being a member of Commercial Transport in Preservation and Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust. On sunny summer days, he enjoys nothing more than driving his 1969 MG Midget, that he has owned for more than 20 years, across the South Downs.
Ian Fairweather FInstTA
Ian entered the transport industry at the age of 16 and developed a life-long passion for transport, which began with a driving career.
Starting out in a Luton-bodied Bedford TK, he soon moved on to HGV Class 1 on international haulage. This was followed by several years with Grey-Green Coaches of Stamford Hill. After a spell with Galleon Coaches (Mile End) as Transport Manager, Ian returned to freight transport joining Tibbett & Britten Group plc.
It was during his time at TBG that Ian became involved with Operator Licensing, and this is where he learnt the complexities of looking after the 52 Operator Licences held by TBG.
In 1990, Ian joined IoTA (Hertfordshire Centre) and for several years was the Centre Secretary.
But the call of the “open-road” was strong, so in the mid-1990’s Ian returned to driving, and in 2001 he started his first company. By 2004, the move into training had started with a second company.
Today Ian still runs both companies, is an external Transport Manager for two operators, teaches the Transport Manager’s CPC as well as TMR, OLAT and Driver CPC. He also works regularly for a well-known industry examinations body and has represented numerous companies at Traffic Commissioners Public Inquiries whilst continuing to work alongside those operators on a consultancy basis.
That call to the “open-road” never goes away, to the point that some 45 years after gaining that HGV Class 1, he has (during the COVID-19 pandemic) become a key-worker, driving 44t artics for a blue-chip supermarket chain around London and the South East.
Director of Education
Stuart Phelan MInstTA
Director of External Affairs
Martin Price FInstTA
Martin was born in Newport, South Wales in February 1961. His interest in road transport, HGV and PSV, was inspired by the many trips he undertook across the country with his father. Martin is married and has two children and a grandchild.
On leaving school Martin served for a period in the Royal Navy and later worked in the local BSC steelworks. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1979, serving for 22 years in transport as a mechanical transport driver, which took him throughout the UK, Germany, Gibraltar and various other places across the world. Martin says a lot of his time in the forces was spent as a driving instructor and specialist transport instructor.
After retirement he continued to work and took a position with DLT training in Bridgend. With much more to give to the transport industry his current position is as driver trainer for Babcock, training the emergency services, a role he continues to enjoy.
Having joined IoTA in August 2003, he has served on the Education and Training committee where he was also the chairman and progressed to National Chairman for the Institute, a position he held for 2 years. A move to the External Affairs committee saw him elected as the chairman, a position he has held for the last two years.
Christopher Sullivan FInstTA
Christopher has worked in the bus industry since 1969 and has been a member of the Institute since 1979; he was at one time Treasurer of the Herts, Bucks and Beds Centre
He is President of the Transport Benevolent Fund, a Committee Member of the Bus Employee’s Friendly Society and a member of the Transport for London Pensions Consultative Council and Pensioners Forum and has received training and top-up training in the role of Trustee on a regular basis.
Christopher is a member of Solent centre.
Director of the Institute