David Brown steps down as Transport for the North boss to lead Northern Rail

Transport for the North has announced that its chief executive David Brown is to leave the organisation in September. Brown will take up the post of managing director of Arriva Rail North, operator of the Northern rail franchise.

TfN, the body tasked with driving economic growth in the north through transport development programmes, this week set out the evidence it will use to produce its strategic transport plan, due to be published when TfN becomes a statutory sub-national transport authority later this year.

The national partners in TfN are Highways England, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport, who work with the north’s local enterprise partnerships to prioritise and promote projects. Commenting on Brown’s departure, John Cridland, chairman of TfN, said: “David leaves Transport for the North with our thanks and best wishes for the future.  He has been instrumental in developing TfN’s vision of a thriving north of England where modern transport connections drive economic growth and support an excellent quality of life.  He leaves a strong organisation ready to become the UK’s first statutory body with a clear direction to drive economic growth in the north.”

TfN, which will start its search for a new chief executive shortly, praised Brown for being “at the forefront of shaping the future of transport in the north of England, making a difference to both private and public sector over the last two years”.

TfN said that under Brown’s leadership its multi-modal integrated and smart travel programme has “rapidly developed into a tangible entity and is on track to deliver substantial benefits to customers, modernising the way people plan and pay for travel across the north”. They also said that Brown had also been instrumental in the development of the statutory transport plan designed to drive transformational economic growth in the North of England by intelligently developing transport infrastructure.

Commenting on his decision to move on, Brown said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Arriva at such an exciting time, with the opportunity to help transform the rail services of the north through the Northern franchise. I am very much looking forward to leading the business and seeing that investment bear fruit through improved services, capacity and stations for passengers.”

Brown has a long history in the public transport sector. He was previously chief executive at Merseytravel and also held positions at the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Rail North and North West Trains.

His decision to leave TfN follows hard on the heels of a change in the minister responsible for the Northern Powerhouse, with Jake Berry taking over from Andrew Percy, who resigned from the government last week.

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