Smart Transport

Martin Tugwell to become new Transport for the North chief executive

Martin Tugwell, TfN

Martin Tugwell has been appointed chief executive of Transport for the North (TfN).

Following agreement from the TfN Board, Tugwell will lead the region’s statutory transport body, which represents the North’s civic and business leaders on transport investment. He succeeds Barry White, who is due to step down this month.

Tugwell has more than 20 years’ experience in transport and investment senior leadership roles in the public sector and will join TfN from Smart Transport member England’s Economic Heartland, the sub-national transport body for the region including Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire. He’s also president of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT).

John Cridland, chairman of TfN, said: “This is a crucial leadership role for the North of England and Martin fits the bill.

“His extensive professional experience coupled with his drive to make tomorrow better than today means he’s perfectly placed to lead TfN. He’ll work with our Board to take on the immediate challenges and opportunities facing the North and continue the great work TfN has consistently delivered since it was established.

“I’d also like to once again put on public record my sincere thanks to Barry White. Barry has played a pivotal role in TfN’s success. He secured adoption of our 30-year Strategic Transport Plan and led TfN through the challenges of responding to the May 2018 timetable crisis. We thank him for his dedication and wish him all the very best for the future.”

TfN has adopted a new Business Plan for 2021/22, which will see the organisation focus on advancing the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail and agreeing future governance arrangements; analysing the wide-ranging benefits of transport investment; and making the North’s networks more sustainable through new decarbonisation and freight strategies.

Commenting on his appointment, which takes effect this summer, Tugwell said: “It’s an honour to take up leadership of Transport for the North at this critical moment for the levelling-up agenda. I’ve always been a passionate advocate for the ability of better transport connections to change lives and create more opportunities. That belief is the central mission of Transport for the North, one that’s more important today than ever.

“I can’t wait to work with the North’s ambitious leaders to drive real change in the region, making transport more accessible, inclusive and sustainable for future generations.”

Tim Wood, TfN Northern Powerhouse Rail director, will become interim chief executive until Tugwell officially joins the organisation.

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