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.”

RTM OCT/NOV 22 Edition


Barmouth viaduct restoration insights from project leaders

Step right up and enjoy the premium content available in the newly released October/November edition of Rail Technology Magazine, packed with key industry insights from project leaders, innovations within the sector and environmental sustainability knowledge. We invite you to indulge in the magazine and hear from the likes of Chris Pearce, Value management Director for Network Rail, Lord Tony Berkeley and Gareth Yates, Project Manager at Network Rail for Capital Delivery. This just a tantalising taste of the great stories that we have to offer, so dig in and enjoy the informative fun. 


View all videos
TransCityRail Banner


Mids \ 09 02 23
South \ 28 09 23
North \ 09 11 23

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.


The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all