Barrow bus driver immortalised as Stagecoach honour his legacy

An everlasting tribute to Stagecoach’s longest-serving driver in Barrow-in-Furness will ensure he is always remembered along the routes he spent years driving.

Ray Jones, who sadly passed away in January this year, is being remembered by colleagues and bus passengers in Barrow with a commemorative license plate that has been attached to one of Stagecoach’s buses.

Staff thought long and hard about the best way to honour Ray’s memory and in the end, his colleagues clubbed together to buy a personalised license plate dedicated to their colleague and friend.

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The plate reads BA60 RAY.

The BA stands for Barrow, the 60 was the year Ray was born as well as his age when he died, and then his name.

Willie McPhail, operations manager at Stagecoach Barrow, said: “We felt that after Ray had died we wanted to do something to remember him.

“We think he deserved to be remembered in the workplace as he had been here since Stagecoach came to Barrow.

“Our managing director, Rob Jones, suggested that we get one of our new double-decker buses painted in our new livery.

“He had seen on the DVLA website that was a number plate we could buy with the registration number BA60 RAY.

A special numberplate in memory of stagecoach driver Ray Jones, has been added to a bus on the route Ray used to drive before his death in January 2021. BA60 RAY.
A special numberplate in memory of stagecoach driver Ray Jones, has been added to a bus on the route Ray used to drive before his death in January 2021. BA60 RAY.
(Image: Sheenah Alcock)

“Drivers across the entire company donated money to go towards buying the registration plate.

“The money left over from these donations will be given to the North West Air Ambulance Service, a charity Ray regularly donated money to.

“It’s an everlasting tribute to Ray.

“Even if the vehicle changed or went to another location, we would be able to change the registration to a bus in Barrow.”

Ray, who mainly drove the 6 and X6 route, started working for Stagecoach when it first came to Barrow in the 1980s.

He was a beloved member of staff with a dry sense of humour who left his mark on his colleagues and all those who interacted with him.

The BA stands for Barrow, the 60 was the year Ray was born as well as his age when he died, and then his name.
The BA stands for Barrow, the 60 was the year Ray was born as well as his age when he died, and then his name.
(Image: Sheenah Alcock)

Willie said: “Ray was a very prominent and well-liked member of staff.

“Everybody knew him because he had been here longer than anybody and he was also our local union representative.

“He wasn’t just a work colleague, he was a friend to many people including myself.”

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Lancs Live – Cumbria