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Dyan Crowther to lead HS1

The beleaguered Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise announced today that its current chief operating officer is leaving to become the new CEO of HS1.

In her two years in the post, Crowther oversaw Southern’s integration with GTR, forming the country’s largest rail franchise.

Since then, the company’s PPM has fallen significantly below any other TOC and it has been forced to cancel 341 services a day to try to prevent unpredictable delays.

However, the Go-Ahead group, which owns GTR, made £57m profits from its rail franchises in 2015-16.

Crowther will be replaced by Nick Brown, who has previously worked as chief operating officer and interim managing director of London Underground and for companies including Serco, Balfour Beatty and National Express.

Charles Horton, chief executive of GTR, said “Nick’s broad experience and intimate knowledge of the sector makes him ideally placed to help us achieve our business goals and deliver a better railway and excellent service for our customers going forward. I'm looking forward to him coming on board and I know he'll add real value to the business.

“Dyan carries with her into her new venture with HS1 my warmest congratulations and grateful thanks for her significant contribution to GTR over these past two years.”

GTR was hit last week by RMT’s announcement of five strikes of Southern conductors before the end of the year, totalling 14 days.

The strikes are the latest and longest RMT has held this year in protest at GTR’s plans to expand driver-operated only (DOO) services, which it says pose a danger to passengers.

However, Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said Brown’s appointment “opened the door to the real possibility of a new approach”.

He said RMT would write to Brown seeking “genuine and meaningful talks” about the dispute to start “as soon as possible”.

Cash also said that Crowther’s appointment at HS1 raised “serious union concerns about the company objectives going forwards” and RMT would seek assurances about HS1 staff’s jobs and working conditions.

Crowther will formally take up the post of HS1 CEO in January 2017, replacing Nicola Shaw who has moved to National Grid.

She said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role. High Speed 1 is the UK’s only high-speed line which has transformed rail travel through Kent and into the continent. Its growth and performance in the last nine years are testament to its success and I look forward to leading the business and helping continue this success for customers and passengers alike.”

Rob Holden, chair and acting CEO of HS1, said: “As someone who joined the rail industry as a graduate, Dyan’s experience made her an extremely strong candidate.”

(Image c. HS1)

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Anon   27/09/2016 at 14:04

Jumped or pushed? Articles like this always leave unanswered questions!

Anon   28/09/2016 at 08:59

Better get ready to move back onto the Southeastern classic service when all the strikes start.

Anonymous   28/09/2016 at 23:16

Good riddance to bad rubbish at GTR. Awful, awful woman with no empathy grasp of employee relations.

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