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02. 03. 2020 08:03


Industry influencers join forces in new venture

Key industry influencers Leon Daniels OBE and Steve O’Neill have joined forces to provide strategic advice for keeping the transport industry on track, initially in four key business disciplines.

Key points:

  • Respected transport influencers Leon Daniels OBE and Steve O’Neil in new venture
  • Transport business consultancy delivers powerhouse of expertise and knowledge
  • Specialisms: Buying/selling a transport business; strategy/growth; product marketing

Offering a powerhouse of expertise and knowledge, OneAssociates, which launches today, provides strategic help for businesses in the bus, coach and rail industry, based on hard-won practical experience and outcomes.

OneAssociates’ co-founders Leon Daniels and Steve O’Neill have unique knowledge and experience in the transport sector at every level.

Leon Daniels OneAssociates

Best known for his achievements as Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London, Leon Daniels (pictured above) was responsible for all £3.5bn of road, light rail and surface transport services, major civil engineering infrastructure projects and delivery of events including the London 2012 Olympic Games, RideLondon and the London Marathon.

Says Leon Daniels: “We have come together to form a powerful consultancy, which draws on our widespread experience, to help bus, coach and rail businesses in four key business areas: Strategy and growth, buying a business, selling a business and advising manufacturers wishing to establish themselves in the UK market.”

Steve O’Neill headed his family’s award-winning coach company The Kings Ferry Travel Group, before setting an industry record with its 2007 sale to National Express PLC. When Spanish luxury coach and bus manufacturer Irizar decided to create a UK dealership, they called on his knowledge and experience. Launching in 2011, over the next eight years as a founder-director of Irizar UK he helped the division to grow into a £22m business with the second-largest UK coach market share.

Says Steve O’Neill (pictured below): “Passion is an over-used word in the business world, but we really do have it. We can provide a global, informed perspective that is respectful, jargon-free and honest. And, it’s based on hard-won practical experience and outcomes.”

Steve ONeill OneAssociates

Offering friendly, impartial and confidential help to transport owners needing expert advice about running and expanding their business, One Associates also delivers a fresh perspective on your company’s structure and planning.

“We know that running a business is hard work every day, with constant pressure. This means it’s often hard to step back, review where you are - and crucially - where your business could be going,” says Steve O’Neil.

“It’s often very useful to have a fresh pair of eyes and an outside - but expert - view, helping you to develop your strategy and growth plans.”

Advising on the purchase and sale of coach and bus businesses is a key part of OneAssociates.

“The sales process needs high levels of competence, expertise and focus,” says Leon Daniels. “It’s estimated that four out of five UK businesses fail to sell when put on the market. That’s where we can prepare the ground and work with you to achieve the outcome that’s best for you.”


About Leon Daniels OBE

After working at the Department of the Environment and in shipping, he ran his own London bus company. It grew to 5% of the London market and was sold in 1998, to FirstGroup plc for £23.8m. As Commercial Director at UK Bus, he was responsible for its business development, including new ventures such as Aircoach, Greyhound, Yellow School Bus, its pioneering bus/tram project ‘ftr’.

Working with two London Mayors, he was responsible for delivering all £3.5bn of road, light rail and transport services and major civil engineering infrastructure projects. His policy-making and implementation skills, plus hands-on operational experience, also ensured the success of the city’s biggest events. These included the 2012 London Olympics, RideLondon and the London Marathon; he was also in charge during major incidents.

With extensive knowledge and experience of traffic and streets management, bus transport, urban rail, cycling, road safety, river operations, the taxi and private hire industry, policing and enforcement, highway engineering and major project delivery, Leon works at the highest level of Government. He also has small and large company experience, including PLC Board governance, has dealt with banks and venture capitalists, and has an excellent track record of delivery throughout. In 2019 he was awarded an OBE for services to transport.


About Steve O’Neill

Steve worked his way up to head his family’s coach hire company, The Kings Ferry Travel Group. In 2007, he set an industry record when he sold the business to National Express PLC. This may have looked easy from the outside, but Steve had learnt valuable lessons from previous unsuccessful attempts to sell the company. He continues to develop and run successful enterprises in other sectors, including property.

When Spanish luxury coach and bus manufacturer Irizar decided to create a UK dealership, they called on Steve’s knowledge and experience. A founder-director of Irizar UK in 2011, Irizar launched its first full range of UK coaches. In eight years he it grew it to a £22m business, with the second-largest UK coach marketshare.

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