New bosses for Edinburgh’s transport network have been announced. George Lowder MBE has been appointed Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, Richard Hall has secured the MD role at Lothian Buses and Lea Harrison will be General Manager at Edinburgh Trams.
Described as ‘a seasoned bus professional’, Richard Hall FCILT is currently the MD for RATP in London where he has been responsible for leading over 3700 people, across 11 operating sites, operating contracted bus services for TfL as well as a developing commercial bus and coach operation launched in 2015. Starting his career in coaches and private hire, he spent six years with Stagecoach and three years with Veolia Transport in Wales. He joined Arriva in 2010 where he worked in the west of Scotland and Glasgow before involvement with the transportation delivery for the 2012 Olympics and the Maltese operation.
George Lowder MBE joins from the military after a decorated career in defence spanning nearly 35 years. Lea Harrison also has a military background, starting his career in the Royal Corps of Transport. He joined Greater Manchester Metrolink as a tram driver in 1991 progressing to a General Manager role. He is currently Head of Service Delivery with NET concessionaire, Tramlink Nottingham with responsibility for partnership working with the operating company and Nottingham City Council.
Each of the positions will report to the Chair of their respective board, with the MD of Lothian Buses and the General Manager of Edinburgh Trams also having ‘dotted line’ accountability to the Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh. The new appointments follow a period of turmoil at executive level in the local authority owned company.
Chair of Lothian Buses and Transport for Edinburgh Board Member, Jim McFarlane, said, ‘Hundreds of thousands of residents, workers and visitors rely on our buses every day and we are proud to provide them with one of the best city operations in the UK. With Edinburgh growing in popularity as a place to live, work and visit, our services are crucial to the smooth running of the city. We also have ambitious plans to further improve the quality of our fleet, making our services cleaner and greener. So, we are delighted to be able to appoint Richard, who has vast experience and excellent leadership credentials, to lead the whole Lothian Buses team to further success.’
Chair of Transport for Edinburgh and Transport Convenor for the City of Edinburgh Council, Lesley Hinds, said, ‘We expected that these positions would attract high calibre candidates and we weren’t disappointed. Transport for Edinburgh and the city it serves are major attractions for some of the best in the UK transport profession and I’m delighted that we have secured such exceptional interest. Our new senior team will be pivotal in supporting the transport infrastructure we need but also the wider economy.’