Bus boss Roger French to be made a freeman of Brighton and Hove

Posted On 30 Apr 2013 at 9:22 pm

Recently retired bus company boss Roger French is to be made an honorary freeman of Brighton and Hove.

A special meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council has been called for Thursday 9 May to confer the honour on 58-year-old Mr French.

The council said that the civic honour was “in recognition of his outstanding achievements and services in the city”.

A report to councillors said: “Roger French has spent nearly 30 years at the wheel of Brighton and Hove Buses and has had a long and distinguished career which has included his tireless work in promoting the spirit of partnership in the city and his selfless work for charities, notably as chair for nine years of the trustees of the Martlets Hospice.”

Roger French

Roger French

The report said that the council was able to confer the honour on “persons of distinction or persons who have, in the opinion of the council, rendered imminent services to the city”.

While the report probably meant eminent, perhaps imminent seemed subconsciously appropriate for anyone who has ever wondered when their bus would come.

Mr French brought a measure of certainty for waiting passengers by introducing electronic boards at dozens of bus stops to show how long a wait to expect.

He becomes only the sixth member of a select band which includes Olympic champion Steve Ovett, who became a freeman of the city last year.

The honour was conferred on the Burmese pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi and heroic Brighton pilot Flight Lieutenant Marc Heal in 2011.

First World War veteran Henry Allingham became a freeman in 2009. Adam Trimingham, the long-serving Argus newspaper columnist, was the first to receive the accolade in 2004.

Mr French, who retired last month, has been invited to Brighton Town Hall for a special meeting of the council when the honour will be conferred.


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