Martin Tugwell has been appointed the next Chief Executive of Transport for the North (TfN).
Following agreement from the TfN Board, Mr Tugwell is set to lead the region’s statutory transport body, which speaks with one voice on behalf of the North’s civic and business leaders on transport investment. He will succeed Barry White, who is due to step down later this month.
Mr Tugwell has over 20 years’ experience in transport and investment senior leadership roles in the public sector and will join TfN from England’s Economic Heartland, the Sub-national Transport Body for the region including Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire. He is also the current President of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT).
John Cridland, Chairman of Transport for the North, 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 for the North 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.”
Cllr Louise Gittins, Vice Chair of Transport for the North, said: “Martin has an impeccable track record in both securing investment in transport and working very closely with elected and business leaders to bring about positive change. His passion and vision fit hand in glove with that of the North’s leaders, who work as one for the benefit of communities and businesses.
“We’re looking forward to TfN’s next chapter, as we carve an increased role for the North in decision-making and tackle the big challenges of our time such as decarbonisation and economic recovery.
“I’d also like to sincerely thank Barry White for his commitment to our shared vision and leadership of Transport for the North.”
TfN has just adopted a bold 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 the decision, Martin 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.”
It has also been agreed that TfN’s current Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Tim Wood, will become Interim Chief Executive until Martin officially joins the pan-Northern organisation this summer.
Tim Wood said: “I’m delighted to lead Transport for the North and ensure a smooth transition for our dedicated team. There are some significant decisions on future investment expected in the coming months and we stand ready to work with Government on the next steps for key projects like Northern Powerhouse Rail.”