Jonathan Bray, provided via Urban Transport Group

Jonathan Bray to step down as Director of the Urban Transport Group

After 15 fruitful years as Director of the Urban Transport Group, Jonathan Bray will be stepping down in April 2023.

Throughout his tenure, since 2008, Mr Bray has developed and successfully advocated for progressive policies on transport, as well as guiding the network through the tumultuous Covid pandemic. In a year that has seen TfL Commissioner Andy Byford stepping down, Mr Bray’s decision will represent a major shakeup within the sector as his expertise and guidance steadied the ship through murky waters in recent years of strife.

Laura Shoaf, Chair of the Urban Transport Group, and Chief Executive at West Midlands Combined Authority, said:

“The Urban Transport Group has gone from strength to strength under Jonathan’s leadership and he helped us all navigate a very challenging time around Covid. His expertise, advocacy and policy knowledge are second to none and while we will miss him tremendously, we wish him all the best for the future.”

As the sector has been recovering economically in the post-pandemic climate, Mr Bray has helped to save millions through the instigation of collaborative working between the group’s members as well as leading the work of members on sharing expertise and case making on everything from decarbonising urban transport to the devolution of local rail services.

Jonathan Bray has issued a statement on his decision, saying:

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to fight the corner of public transport and active travel on behalf of the UK’s largest urban areas and to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented and committed people both at our members and in the Urban Transport Group team. However, after twenty years in total at the Urban Transport Group (and its predecessor the Passenger Transport Executive Group), it feels like the right time both for me to start a new phase in my life, with more flexibility, and for the organisation.

“I’m particularly pleased to have been Director when we grew the membership of the organisation; transformed its status and influence; made it possible to bring buses back under local control; kept the wheels turning during the pandemic and made Urban Transport Group the place where respected thinking happens on the future of urban transport.

“When I leave, I will be taking some time out to recharge and then I will be available if there are useful roles, I can play under the broad heading of making progressive change happen. But that’s to come and in the meantime, I look forward to continuing to make my contribution to the work of the Urban Transport Group network in the six months ahead.”

As a new Government helms the transport sector and its ongoing projects, reliance on the knowledge of industry experts such as Mr Bray would be integral to achieving a smooth transition and maintenance of existing operational standards. As Mr Bray steps down early into next year, a strong replacement will be requisite for industry progression.

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