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No point starting from scratch says Abellio

Montgomery stays on to lead ScotRail’s new Dutch operator

Steve MontgomeryDutch rail operator Abellio, which takes over the ScotRail franchise next month, has confirmed that Steve Montgomery will remain in place as managing director.

The company said that while it has ambitious plans for the franchise it intends to build on the good work done by FirstGroup and Mr Montgomery  will continue in his role. This will also ensure a smooth transition and minimal disruption for passengers.

However, there will be some new faces and new positions, including a new role of business transformation director. Matt Watson (ex HR Director of Southern) takes on the task, initially in an interim capacity.

Jonathan Crick is appointed interim commercial director. He has worked at Stansted Airport and was most recently commercial director for Network Rail’s retail property division.

Abellio said it hopes to hire a sustainability & safety assurance director before taking over the franchise, but in the event of a delay Steve Enright, the Abellio group head of safety, environment & security will fill this role in an interim capacity.

Abellio’s mobilisation director, Ian McConnell, will become transition director for Abellio in order to maintain continuity and implementation of the ScotRail franchise commitments.

He will also work towards the new alliance arrangements with Network Rail which  is one of Abellio’s commitments to Transport Scotland.

Hitachi trainsDominic Booth, managing director of Abellio UK, said: “It is well recognised that ScotRail has been a successful franchise under the leadership of the current team. Whilst Abellio are extremely ambitious and have committed to significant improvements, these will be delivered by building on the good work done by ScotRail in recent years; we’re not about starting from scratch.

“One of our aims in transition to the new franchise is to avoid distracting everyone too much from the important ‘business as usual’ of delivering ScotRail services for customers. Therefore the best way to start the new franchise is with some strong continuity combined with a fresh perspective and some new faces. Our priorty throughout the appointment process has been to build a team that will deliver our vision for the future of rail travel in Scotland.”

George Barron, HR Director for Abellio Goup added: “By its very nature, franchise transition is a highly disruptive process and it is therefore key that we blend an appropriate mix of established and experienced leaders from the existing business with new roles and fresh talent to facilitate the dual objectives of business continuity with appropriate change management. We are confident that the leadership appointments achieve this balance and, above all pave the way for Abellio to deliver all its franchise commitments for Scotland.”

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