Transport for the North welcomes new CEO and chair

Martin Tugwell and Louise Gittins, pictured, have taken up key leadership roles at Transport for the North.

Transport for the North (TfN) is welcoming two senior and experienced figures to two key leadership positions. Martin Tugwell joins as TfN chief executive on Monday 2 August, while Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, became acting chair on Tuesday 27 July.

Together, they will lead the sub-national transport body and its board through a number of opportunities and key activities in the coming months, including the upcoming spending review, development of Northern Powerhouse Rail to the next business case stage, and the publication of TfN’s decarbonisation strategy and freight and logistics strategy.

They will also move forward at pace the Northern Transport Charter, which sets out a roadmap towards further, long-term devolution for the region around four key areas:

  • Putting passengers at the heart of the railways;
  • Leading northern strategic scheme planning and delivery;
  • Managing a long-term northern funding settlement;
  • Championing an inclusive and sustainable north.

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. Tugwell said: “This is a really exciting time to join Transport for the North and it’s an honour to take up the position of chief executive. There are many opportunities in the months and years ahead, and my focus is on ensuring we implement TfN’s vision of a thriving region, with sustainable transport connections that enable growth for our people and businesses, is more important than ever.

“With vital strategic projects already underway, including our pioneering decarbonisation strategy and transformational Northern Powerhouse Rail network, the north is well-placed to meet our ambitions. I look forward to working with our regional leaders and government to make transport more accessible, inclusive and sustainable as part of the wider levelling up agenda.”

Louise Gittins stepped into the role of acting chair of the organisation following the departure of John Cridland, who led the last meeting on Tuesday 27 July. Gittins said: “Transport for the North’s mission is more important than ever as we seek to build back greener and fairer, and secure investment in our region. I’m delighted to take up the role of acting chair as we enter an exciting period with much potential.

“The Transport for the North board champions a one voice approach, bringing our region’s political and business leaders together to speak out on the key issues and help bring about changes that benefit our region. Working in partnership to foster collaboration and move forward with our shared goals is vital, and together we will build on achievements over the past few years and take our region forward with great ambition and determination.”

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