Appointments fill key roles
Transport trio hired in move to draw line under dispute
Three top roles in Scottish public transport have been filled in a move aimed at drawing a line under a fall-out among senior management last year.
Former commander of the army in Scotland George Lowder (pictured) has been appointed chief executive of Transport for Edinburgh.
Richard Hall moves north from London to become managing director of Lothian Buses, replacing Ian Craig, while Lea Harrison leaves a senior role with Nottingham Trams to take over as general manager of Edinburgh Trams.
Lothian Buses was dogged by infighting for months which led to a number of departures. Chairman Anne Faulds resigned and the directors were stripped of annual bonuses worth around £250,000.
Speaking about the recruits, Lesley Hinds, chairman of Transport for Edinburgh and transport convenor for Edinburgh Council, 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. I wish George, Richard and Lea all the very best in their new roles and I look forward to working with them as a team as we continue to push Edinburgh’s integrated transport agenda.”
George Lowder MBE
George will join TfE from the military after a decorated career in Defence spanning nearly 35 years. Commissioned into The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) in 1981, he studied Scots Law at Aberdeen University and gained a Masters from Cranfield University before commanding The Army in Scotland. Latterly his role was in the MOD, where he led a multi-agency and multi-disciplined team. During his military career he received a Commander’s Commendation for his actions on Operation Desert Storm, a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in Bosnia and in 1998 he was made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. George was born and educated in Edinburgh and his family are resident in the City. George is a competent sailor and was a keen rugby player. He remains a keen skier and golfer when time allows.
Richard Hall FCILT
Richard is a seasoned bus professional and is a chartered fellow of the institute of logistics and transport. After studying electrical engineering, Richard started his bus career in coaches and private hire and then spent six years with Stagecoach and 3 years with Veolia Transport in Wales. He joined Arriva in 2010 where he worked in the west coast of Scotland and Glasgow before working on the transportation delivery for the 2012 Olympics and laterally in Malta. Richard is currently the Managing Director for RATP in London where he has been responsible for leading over 3700 people, across 11 operating sites, operating contracted bus services for Transport for London as well as a developing commercial bus and coach operation launched in 2015. A keen outdoor enthusiast, Richard enjoys mountain biking, skiing and he is a keen walker.
Lea Harrison MCMI
After starting his career in the Royal Corps of Transport as a Driver for eight years, Lea then progressed to the rank of Corporal before leaving the Army for civilian life where he joined Greater Manchester Metrolink (Manchester Tram), at the entry level, as Tram Driver in 1991. He has since developed his career in tramways from Driver to General Manager over the last 25 years – the first person to do so in recent times in any UK tramway. Lea stayed at the Manchester tramway and worked his way up to Head of Contract Delivery where he worked on line improvements and extensions as well as ensuring the day to day operations were in line with customer and client expectations. Since 2011 Lea has spearheaded delivery of the major expansion of the Nottingham Express Transit tram network, which officially opened for passenger service in August. 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. In 2002 he gained a post graduate diploma in Management Studies and is a chartered member of the Management Institute.