In our employee spotlight, we sit down with Peter Crichton who founded Omnibus in 1989 with the aim of helping schedulers easily produce efficient and workable schedules which over 30 years on is still the case.
Peter started his career as a trainee scheduler at Greater Manchester Transport, and has 40 years’ experience in the passenger transport sector.
Name three words you would use to describe your role.
Inspire, motivate, passionate
Where did you work prior to setting up Omnibus?
I was the traffic manager at Shearings responsible for their bus operations until I was made redundant in 1990. I started my bus industry career on 16th October 1978 as a trainee scheduler with Greater Manchester PTE on the same day John Paul II was elected Pope.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Setting up Omnibus and for over 30 years helping to make a scheduler’s workload easier and the bus industry more efficient.
Are you working on any interesting projects at the moment?
Looking at potential new markets and cloud development.
Do you have a favourite film?
One of my favourite films is Topsy Turvy, a Mike Leigh film about the story of how the operetta The Mikado came about. Besides being about Gilbert and Sullivan it is a great period drama.
I also like sci-fi films especially if they have good sound effects much to the annoyance of my partner Sally!
If you could do a challenge, what would that be?
People like to do Route 66, but I want to do the Australian equivalent and travel from coast to coast across Australia in a car and/or on a train.
What’s your favourite album?
My music taste is varied; I can be listening to Gilbert and Sullivan one minute, the Houghton Weavers the next and then Meat Loaf, so choosing just one favourite album isn’t as simple as it sounds.
What’s the best and worst things you’ve eaten?
I love a variety of foods – Italian, Indian, Thai; I’ll try anything. As for the worst things I’ve eaten, there’s very few things I don’t like, though in Hong Kong I did find a Chinese meal there which was a little different from the one’s at home.
Favourite holiday destination?
Australia, that’s definite. My favourite city is Melbourne; it has a great traditional tram network and my aunty emigrated there in the 1960s so, for me, there’s a personal connection with that area.
Do you have any hobbies you like to do outside of work?
I have a keen interest in buses and trains. I own two buses, Manchester Leyland Titan 3706 and London Routemaster RM 1152 and I am currently building an O Gauge layout in my shed.
I also sing and perform mainly the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with my partner Sally. I have been fortunate enough to play the parts I’ve always wanted to play, including performing and producing at the Buxton Opera House during the annual Gilbert and Sullivan Festival.
What’s a secret talent that no one knows about?
Singing because not many people know about it (unless they’re reading this). In fact, one of the career options I was considering when leaving school was to join the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.
If you could get a new skill in 10 minutes, what would it be?
Cooking, and I’m already working on this. I’ve always wanted to do a curry from scratch, not from a jar or packet, I made one and it tasted okay and everyone survived!
How do you think the industry will change in 10 years?
The move away from deregulation is already happening, just look at Greater Manchester. The challenges this raises is where will that be in different areas of the country and how that will impact on the industry.
Another change coming in is the move over to electric vehicles. Although a positive step to tackle high-emissions and pollution, it does raise a few challenges, in particular the lack of charging infrastructure.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who’s just started their career?
Do what you enjoy and make sure you are passionate about it.