Board meeting

New Transport for the North Chief Executive takes up position

Martin Tugwell has joined Transport for the North (TfN) as the orgnaisation’s new Chief Executive, looking to help drive strategic projects and the levelling up agenda across the region.

Taking up his new position with the sub-national transport body on August 2, 2021, Martin has more than 20 years’ experience in transport and investment senior leadership roles in the public sector.

He joins TfN having previously been Programme Director at England’s Economic Heartland (EEH), the sub-national body for the region including Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire. He is also the immediate Past President of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT).

He replaces Barry White, who stepped down from his role at TfN in May 2021.

Manchester station

TfN’s Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Tim Wood, has been serving as Interim Chief Executive in the intervening period.

Martin Tugwell’s appointment coincides with the appointment of Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, as Acting Chair on July 27, 2021.

Together, the pair will help drive a number of opportunities and key activities in the coming months, including the upcoming Spending Review, development of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to the next business case stage, and the publication of TfN’s Decarbonisation Strategy and Freight & 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, built 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

Following his appointment, Martin 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.

Martin Tugwell quote

“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.”


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