Merseytravel boss David Brown will head pan-Northern body


davidbrownDavid Brown


The government will propose amendments to the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill to enable Transport for the North to become a statutory body in 2017.

Once awarded, statutory status will allow TfN to accelerate its far-reaching programme, setting out transport policies and investment priorities in a long term transport strategy for the North.

The announcement follows the news that TfN has appointed Merseytravel boss David Brown as its new £200,000 a year chief executive. Brown will leave his Merseytravel role to take charge at TfN in early November.

Brown will take a leading role in the development of the future blueprint for TfN as it builds towards statutory status, working alongside interim chair Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, until an independent chair is appointed before the end of this year. Brown’s appointment will also kick off a full recruitment programme for TfN.

Brown is a highly experienced and high profile individual in the public transport and infrastructure sectors across the North of England. He has headed Merseytravel for the past two and a half years. Before that he fulfilled the same role at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE). He has represented Liverpool City Region on the TfN executive board and he also led on the establishment of Rail North.

Brown, who has a degree in Geography from Staffordshire University, held a number of management positions with British Rail’s Regional Railways North West before joining SYPTE in 2000. He is well regarded by those who have worked with him.

In South Yorkshire he played a pivotal role in the formation of the Sheffield Bus Partnership, winning admiration from bus operators.

“His pragmatic approach, collaborative leadership style and above all else the value that he places on establishing and maintaining effective relationships at all levels and in all quarters will be invaluable in his new role,” said Dave Alexander, regional managing director for FirstGroup’s bus operations in Scotland and northern England.

Work is currently focused on developing TfN’s updated strategy for Northern connectivity, which will be published next spring and which will outline the priorities for transforming the Northern economy through significantly enhanced connectivity between the city regions. TfN and the government will be publishing a joint report to highlight progress to date later this autumn.


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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