Brown leaves Merseytravel for TfN

Transport for the North has named Merseytravel’s chief executive and director general David Brown as its new chief executive.

The appointment comes as Transport for the North works towards the publication in March 2016 of its updated strategy for transforming the Northern economy through significantly enhanced connectivity between the city regions.  A report will also be published in the autumn highlighting progress to date.

The process to appoint an independent chairman before the end of 2015 is underway, with plans in place to develop TfN into a statutory body by 2017.

Prior to his appointment as chief executive and director general at Merseytravel, Brown headed up South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive. He also led on the successful establishment of Rail North, which, similarly to TfN, brings together the Northern authorities into a single organisation.

As TfN chief executive Brown will take a leading role in the development of the future blueprint for TfN as it builds towards statutory status from 2017 onwards.

Brown will start at TfN within the next few weeks.

He said: “TfN will be at the forefront of delivering an integrated and holistic approach to transport in the North and I relish the opportunity to help shape and drive that forward.”

Sir Richard Leese, interim chairman of TfN and leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome David into the post of CEO. His experience to date speaks for itself and there’s no doubt that David will play a key role in bringing together authorities across the North of England to allow the North to speak with a single voice on the big decisions to benefit the region as a whole.

“We look forward to working with David to drive the way forward for TfN to play its part in delivering the vision for a Northern Powerhouse, by enabling the organisation and, as a result, the region to reach its full potential through strategic collaboration across national transport agencies and the city regions.”

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Is it just me that thinks it’s something of a conflict of interest to have Manc City Coumcil Chief Exec as the chair of this organisation.l? I sense a growing resentment from the other northern cities about the preference this government or government departments are consistently giving to Manchester on what is technically state intervention in economic regeneration which hardly then allows for a level playing field in terms of job creation, particularly given the recent announcement around councils retaining business rates. Take the BBC investment at Salford, the massive Network Rail investment at Piccadily and now Victoria. It’s great that Manchester gets investment but not at the expense of the other great northern cities who are left to feel grateful for a few crumbs.


Although I live in Greater Manchester,I agree to an extent with CMW. The difficulty is that if we spread these resources too thin,we will defeat the object of trying to rebalance the economy.I know it may seem unfair,but someone will have to lose out,I’m afraid.The investment will need to be concentrated between Liverpool,Manchester,Manchester Airport and Leeds and those in the corridor between them.There is no point in taking away money from Manchester to invest in Hull.This is selfish perhaps but.Manchester is geographically half way between Liverpool and Leeds,so must be the Epicentre of this project.

By Elephant

I thought we were getting a new independent Chair. This must be speeded up to allay the fears of other areas. It’s not appropriate for Richard Leese to speak for the north on transport issues. Good news that David Brown has experience stretching from Liverpool to Sheffield though.

By Paul Blackburn (Chester)

There is a difference between government intervention for welfare reasons (regeneration programmes) of which Merseyside has always been by far the greatest beneficiary due to its greater deprivation; and government intervention for economic efficiency reasons (infrastructure projects). The latter will tend to favour large conurbations with stronger economies as they are judged on transparent and consistent cost-benefit ratios. There are always exceptions of course and Liverpool’s costly ‘loop and link’ underground lines and its massively subsidised Merseyrail system are anachronisms from a different age when infrastructure investments were made on political rather than an economic basis.

By Rail

You underestimate Liverpool’s potential and I detect a bit of a grievance there. Read the Heseltine report on Liverpool City Region. The economic potential is clear and the vibrancy is returning in style. And furthermore the wider city is in a fantastic location. If you were building a new city from scratch in the best possible location you would build it around the Mersey estuary. Most of the great cities of the world are waterfront cities. They provide a good quality of life and space to breathe. People forget it was Liverpool’s docklands that enabled the northwest to develop in the first place. The city’s renaissance is inevitable whether you like it or not. It takes a bit of time to bring back over 12 miles of docks in Liverpool and Birkenhead. And Merseyrail’s loop line is extremely efficient with Liverpool central just about the busiest underground station outside London. The tunnels are all there for expansion and it will cost a lot less than Manchester’s trams and produce further efficiency savings as the different lines of the network will be better integrated.

By Paul Blackburn (Chester)

I don’t think Manchester influenced the relocation of the Beeb, that was Salford and Peel