After successfully managing the PR for a £38m public transport construction scheme, Christina was asked to provide marketing and communications expertise for an ambitious project using Government funding to construct an innovative bus rapid transit solution in a very congested and socially deprived part of Hampshire. Local authorities did not have a very good track record in embracing the concept of marketing at that time, and it was Christina’s job, to a great extent, to drag us into the 21st century.

If we were to convince members of the public that this was a viable project, she argued, we had to develop a brand that would differentiate it from ‘any old bus’ – something that would make them want to get out of their cars and try it. This would also, of course, give our partners and potential future funding sources the confidence that we could take £20m of Government money and deliver something really worthwhile. The result was the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network, launched to a formerly sceptical but now totally enthusiastic public, lauded by the trade press and even embraced by a very negative but influential regional newspaper.

To date, the Eclipse services have achieved passenger growth of around 65% compared to the services they replaced, leading to an overall increase in bus use in Gosport and Fareham of 12%. Christina’s knowledge, enthusiasm and ability to work with internal colleagues, partners like First Bus, who agreed to invest £2.4 million in fully branded new buses, as well as creative agencies supplying a range of outputs from computerised animations to interactive websites, and from bus livery to radio campaigns, really made this concept come to life. That she did this more or less single-handedly from the point of view of internal resource is all the more remarkable. She is well respected both within the authority and by our partner First and their suppliers; her opinions are valued and her decisions based on a solid understanding of the product and the market. Her enthusiastic ability to ‘get things done’ is always inspiring. This high profile project also demanded diplomacy and tact at the highest level, both within the County Council, working with our senior politicians, and in liaising with contacts at the Department for Transport to ensure that the interest of the Minister for Transport in this ground-breaking scheme was maintained throughout. Christina managed it all with what looked like consummate ease, delivering a product of which we can all be proud.

“Christina helped deliver a project that almost certainly would not have been as successful without her energy, commitment, knowledge and ‘can-do’ attitude.” John Osborne, Deputy Director of Economy, Transport & Environment, HCC, and Project Director, Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit

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