Eddie Cross FSOE FIRTE

Eddie Cross ‘very privileged’ to scoop respected ‘Engineer of the Year’ award

The winner of the Bus and Coach category for 2016 is Eddie Cross for his extensive work within the PCV industry promoting best practice, safe working and efficient operation.

Eddie has been rewarded for his tireless work from the Ley Street Depot and told the SOE how maintaining high standards throughout his career has enabled his operation to flourish.

“I joined Redbridge 14 years ago, never intending to stay and I’m still here,” said Eddie. “I feel very privileged to be presented with the ‘Engineer of the Year’ award. It recognises the high compliance standards we strive to maintain at Redbridge, along with the exceptional level of service we provide to our customers.”

The Ley Street Depot was one of the first to adopt the IRTE Workshop Accreditation Scheme, with all 18 of his technicians IRTEC accredited. Eddie, who describes working in the PCV industry as, “Not your run of the mill,” has overseen significant developments at the Redbridge depot, including the tyre management process and use of the ‘Easi-pedal’ system on the PCVs.

“Working with Amerjit Sahota, our Passenger Transport operates 266 routes and has 30,000 passenger movements per month, being a mix of Local Authority Special Needs Transport along with private hire and rail replacement work,” said Eddie.

Value of Training

Despite a career moving through the ranks and taking on ever greater responsibility, Eddie firmly believes in the importance of a comprehensive training scheme – something he benefitted greatly from himself - and is now eager to pass on to others.

“I’m passionate about training at all levels, that’s why we are in the process of developing a training partnership with a local college for level 3 students,” said Eddie.

IRTE award

In October 2012, Redbridge were awarded with the IRTE Workshop Plus Accreditation Status - the first to achieve such an accolade - and Eddie is quick to recognise the obvious benefits of such an endorsement from IRTE.

Eddie said: “We trade externally and in a contract situation, Workshop Accreditation is a big plus. We do what we can for the industry as we are an IMI Accreditation Centre. The team at Redbridge have just achieved the FTA 'Truck Excellence' standard as to be being able to prove compliance and good practice is my priority, with austerity biting harder in Local Government I hope that our trading team is allowed to develop new income streams. Our business model works, which proves that good in-house services are the best option for Redbridge and its residents.”

Throughout his career, Eddie has been involved in putting on engineering conferences, with an impressive 300 industry professionals making attendance in 2016. Beverley Bell, Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain and Patron of the SOE, will be the key note speaker at their next trade show in February, and Eddie is clearly proud of how successful the event has become.

“My sponsors Stanford Coachworks and Civica Tranman are long term supporters but hopefully the delegates attend to hear the latest from the Traffic Commissioner or and other key speakers on the overall theme of compliance,” he said.

Challenges Ahead

Although Eddie has learnt from his considerable experience, he recognises the industry is set for substantial changes coming.

“But for all public bodies funding is extremely limited so there are some significant challenges ahead,” he said.