Transport for Buckinghamshire celebrates first female depot manager this International Women’s Day
In the words of Transport for Buckinghamshire’s (TfB) Contract Director, Martin Heeley;
“Rosie Taylor single-handedly manages a £6million budget and 30 hairy blokes, having had no formal background in highways engineering.” As the first ever female depot manager at TfB, a strategic partnership between Buckinghamshire County Council and Ringway Jacobs, and at only 29, Rosie is an anomaly in the overtly male dominated highways industry. She deftly manages staff, supply chain partners, and keeps elected Members happy – add in a share of a £15m Capital budget, winter maintenance and improvement schemes, and Rosie’s day job becomes very challenging. However, this hasn’t held her back from also studying for Adalta’s Level 5 Trailblazer Management Programme Apprenticeship, while project managing the construction of a much-needed new depot at Amersham.
Initially a Rights of Way officer for the county council, Rosie joined Ringway Jacobs three years ago and her potential as a future leader was recognised immediately in her positivity, dynamism, and ability to prioiritise under pressure while remaining professional. Her empathy for her colleagues encourages great performance from her team, and her overall ‘can deliver’ attitude, and a keen eye for control and safety are qualities which have shone through in the past three years.
Central to Rosie’s delivery strategy has been the positioning of the customer at the heart of her team’s work. By looking at challenges with a proactive attitude, despite the competing pressures of budget and priority, she has engendered an air of positivity at the depot which can be all too lacking in times of austerity and budget stress.
For instance, in 2018-19 Rosie saw the opportunity to reduce costs and – more importantly – disruption to the public, by combining rural grass cutting on high speed roads with drainage operations. With some extra commitment and planning, she also got District Council colleagues on board to schedule their litter picking within the same road closures or traffic management, enhancing the service further and ensuring a safe, clear, attractive highway.
From a relatively junior position three years ago, her initial concentration was on making significant change to customer satisfaction through positive delivery, and a realism and honesty which customers appreciated.
Through practical ambitions, realistic timescales, and a solid delivery, Rosie has facilitated a reduction of Category 1 defects in the area by 75% in the past 12 months, through a risk based approach and, not coincidentally, a decrease in customer complaints of over 25%.
The main depot under Rosie’s control, Amersham, has suffered from under-investment in recent years, meaning the work environment for her team had become cramped and a bit rough around the edges. Recognising this, and insisting on an increased involvement in the development project, Rosie was appointed Project Manager and has been integral to the successful completion of a complex planning application, investigation and agreement of related environmental consents.
Final build on the new £300,000 facility takes place in April and May of 2019 and will ensure the provision of a depot fit for the upcoming unitary challenge and will significantly improve the working environment of her team.