A BOLTON man who became bus supremo for Greater Manchester has died at the age of 94.

James Batty, who lived in Armadale Road, Ladybridge, was awarded an MBE for services to the transport industry during a 50-year career.

For many years his name as Bolton Corporation transport manager was written on the side of the town’s buses.

Born in Bolton and educated at Sunninghill School, Mr Batty — always fascinated by transport — began his career with Bolton Corporation Transport Department as an office boy at the age of 15.

He rose through the ranks to become traffic assistant, then moved to Walsall before returning as deputy general manager in 1958. He was appointed general manager in 1965 and, when Selnec was formed in 1969, he was made associate director and divisional general manager.

In 1975, he was awarded the MBE for his transport plans which became a blueprint for other authorities, appointed director of operations for the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive. In this role, he was responsible for 3,000 buses, 10,000 road staff and the efficient performance of the county’s bus services. Affectionately known to all as JBB, he retired as director in 1980.

Mr Batty was a keen gardener, an active member of Goulburn Masonic Lodge in Bolton and enjoyed music. His wife, Gladys, died in 1985, and he is survived by his son, Ian.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday at 1.15pm at St Andrew’s and St George’s United Reformed Church on St Georges Road in Bolton, with committal afterwards at Overdale.