A pioneering engineer is leading a three-year project rebranding Cumbria’s Stagecoach
Gurmail Sathi, 36, is the engineering manager at Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire’s
Carlisle depot, in Willowholme, having previously worked with Stagecoach at the London
Olympics and in the US.
Originally from Manchester, he moved to Carlisle four years ago, and is responsible for
making sure Stagecoach’s 345 local buses are all repainted in the firm’s new livery.
“It’s a pretty big task and will take three years,” said Mr Sathi.
“We have our own paint-shop at the depot with two skilled brush painters. We brush paint
rather than spray painting and a bus the size of a double decker takes 10 to 12 days to
The new look is part of a company-wide rebranding exercise and sees the buses change from
blue, orange and red to the new amber, blue and teal livery.
Mr Sathi is well-known within Stagecoach ranks, having persuaded the nationwide bus
operator to change its policy for Sikhs wearing turbans.
He was following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, Sundar Singh Sarga, who was
instrumental in bringing changes to UK law in the 1960s and 70s whilst working as a bus
driver in Manchester.
He said: “(My great grandfather) changed the law to allow Sikhs to wear turbans whilst riding
a motorcycle, instead of a crash helmet, and he also changed the law around Sikhs becoming
bus drivers because the uniform originally involved wearing a cap.”
Mr Sathi joined Stagecoach as an apprentice mechanic aged 18, before becoming a workshop
manager in Liverpool. In 2012, he volunteered to help set up and operate three pop-up
Stagecoach depots for the duration of the London Olympics.
Following a year working as a director of engineering in Cleveland, Ohio, he moved back to
the UK and to Carlisle with his wife who works as a teaching assistant and three children.
Having worked around the country and overseas, he now feels at home in Cumbria.
He added: “I love walking with the family in the Lakes. What an absolutely beautiful part of the
world it is.”