• Gooding to be CILT president for new era


    RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding will be the president of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT(UK)) for 2021.

    Mr Gooding, who is also a columnist for Highways magazine and a Trustee of the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, will begin his one-year presidency at the start of the year as the transition arrangements for the UK’s departure from the EU end.


    CILT said that alongside the board of directors and its vice presidents, Mr Gooding will promote the organisation as ‘the essential home for those involved in the movement of goods and people, and their associated supply chains’.

    It added that he will build on ‘the significant work of his predecessor, Paul Sainthouse, who helped steer the Institute through the coronavirus pandemic, supported the work on merging CILT(UK) and CILT International and led the Institute during its centenary year in 2019’.

    Mr Gooding said: ‘After several years serving as a vice president of CILT, I have come to know the Institute well and I am honoured to be made president. 2021 looks set to be a year when the skills of CILT members will be tested to the full as we start to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, and we exit the EU.

    ‘I am keen to see CILT continue to support its members by promoting best practice, providing training and awarding qualifications to deliver on the Institute’s core mission to deliver professionalism in motion.’

    Chief executive Kevin Richardson said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Steve Gooding as the new president of CILT(UK). Steve’s experience and expertise will help lead CILT into a new era, as we work to develop our professions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and promote the importance of this great profession.’

    Prior to his appointment at the RAC Foundation in 2015, Mr Gooding was director general at the Department for Transport.


    Channel: Transportation

    keywords: Transport Planning

  • 'A railway close to my heart': Mann in for Hopwood at SWR


    Claire Mann has been appointed managing director of South Western Railway (SWR) with current MD Mark Hopwood returning to sister company GWR.

    Ms Mann (pictured), who will take up the post early in 2021, has more than two decades of experience in the transport sector.


    She is currently director of bus operations for Transport for London (TfL), responsible for the day-to-day running of the capital’s 9,200-strong bus fleet. She was previously director for Docklands Light Railway, also at TfL.

    Ms Mann has also held roles as operations and safety director at Arriva Trains Wales; general manager east at the former First Great Western (now GWR) and customer service director at London Overground.

    Mr Hopwood, who is currently interim managing director of SWR, will return to be MD of GWR on 4 January 2021. The role of MD at SWR will be covered by its chief operating officer, Mike Houghton, until Ms Mann joins.

    She said: ‘This is a railway close to my heart and one that is vital for connecting so many diverse communities. I am passionate about delivering an excellent customer experience and building on the great work already underway to transform this railway.

    ‘People are the most important part of any successful operation and I am looking forward to meeting the teams and individuals across the SWR network.’

    Steve Montgomery, MD of SWR majority shareholder First Rail, said: ‘Claire is well-placed to lead SWR as we continue our £1.2bn programme to transform the travelling experience for our customers.

    ‘Although passenger numbers may be suppressed at the moment, people will want to travel again for work or leisure, and we are ready to play our part in helping the economic recovery across the network.’

    He added: ‘I’d like to thank Mark Hopwood performing this important interim role over the past year.’


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    Channel: Transportation

    keywords: Rail

  • UK learns from NZ gold standard: 'Excess mortality was eliminated'


    This year the ADEPT autumn conference heard of a masterclass in scientific and political management - New Zealand did not just minimise COVID deaths it eliminated excess mortality; it actually gained lives during a pandemic.

    True, the nation is far-flung with a small and mostly sparse population, but the achievements of its strategy are incredible.

    Wellington, April 2020

    Professor Michael Baker, Department of Public Health, the University of Otago in New Zealand, is an expert in epidemics and pandemics, having experience managing such threats since the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

    He told UK local government directors that 'all-cause mortality in New Zeland has declined by 5%' largely due to its stringent lockdown approach not only eliminating COVID but also seasonal influenza.

    'Through the GP system for tracking influenza, we had no [influenza] cases at all. There was the odd virus still detected, but it was a 99.9% reduction. Our excess winter mortality vanished,' he said.

    'We actually saw a decrease in mortality. There was no increase in suicides, although we do expect an impact on mental health. Overall, 1,500 fewer deaths occurred this year as a result of the reduction in respiratory infections.'

    He added that New Zeland has the lowest COVID mortality rate in the OECD at around five per million.

    One of its key elements was 'highly functioning local agencies, which are essential to test and trace', prof Baker said.

    New Zealand was only at 100 cases on no deaths on 23 March when it went into intense lockdown.

    Rather than mitigation or suppression, New Zealand went straight for an elimination plan based on three approaches.

    This involved excluding cases by managing the border; managing outbreaks with test and trace, isolation and quarantine, and reducing transfer at population level using masks, reducing travel and social distancing.

    While the borders were never completely closed, travel into New Zealand went down to about 1% of the pre-elimination period, and on two days there were no arrivals or departures at all.

    After five weeks at its top lockdown level (four) and two weeks on the level just below, the nation emerged into a virus-free country.

    'For 100 days, we eliminated the virus. We had a resurgence from imported cases, but that has been stamped out within a few weeks,' prof Baker said.

    Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), said the New Zealand example, as well as nations in Asia that successfully managed the virus, showed that health and economy had to be linked rather than set against each other.

    She also compared the success of local agencies in New Zealand, with the more centralised approach in the UK.

    'We are in a tricky position where decision making is still held nationally. Locally we want to pick things up locally, but it is still controlled nationally.

    'Policy needs to be more local by default, and local authorities need to influence national policy more.'


    Channel: Infrastructure


  • No change in council bosses' diversity in 20 years, SOLACE MD says


    The managing director of one of the top local government management bodies has said the diversity profile of council bosses has not changed in a generation.

    Graeme McDonald, MD of SOLACE (the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) said the sector had not approached the issue 'in a systemic way'.

    'We have improved recruitment in pockets,' he suggested, adding that the sector needed to be better around the data 'because we have not really had people collecting data on diversity'.

    The SOLACE board itself has 14% of membership from black or minority ethnic communities, and over 50% are women, Mr McDonald said. This gives it pretty much full parity with the wider population based on recent statistics.

    According to the 2011 Census, the total population of England and Wales was 56.1 million, and 86.0% of the population was white.

    Diversity was a benefit to institutions and businesses Mr McDonald argued in a speech to leading local government directors at the ADEPT autumn conference.

    He cited research by McKinsey, which found diversity across gender and ethnic lines was more common in more successful companies.

    McKinsey states: 'Our 2019 analysis finds that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile - up from 21% in 2017 and 15% in 2014.'

    Mr McDonald said that in terms of ethnic diversity 'those [companies] in the top quartile were 36% more likely to be delivering above average profitability'.

    He referred delegates to the Local Government Association's new equalities framework 'which sets diagnostic tools that authorities can take away and assess themselves against which is useful'.


    Channel: Highways


  • New era at WSP as Smith passes the ball to Hodgson


    Charlie Hodgson has taken over as managing director of WSP’s UK Transport & Infrastructure (T&I) business from Steve Smith, who has retired after four years in the role.

    Mr Hodgson (pictured) joins the engineering professional services consultancy from The Go-Ahead Group where he was managing director of rail development and chairman of the group’s Nordic and German businesses.


    He will now be leading WSP’s 2,700-person T&I business, which acts as a delivery partner to clients such as Highways England, HS2, the Welsh Government and Transport Scotland, as well as local authorities across the UK.

    WSP UK chief executive Mark Naysmith said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome Charlie to WSP at such an important time for our business. Having previously worked in management consultancy, specialising in transport and infrastructure, he brings experience and diversity to our business, which aligns perfectly with our strategic direction.

    ‘I believe our clients will value Charlie’s experience and insight into the diverse transport sector, particularly given his most recent successes at one of the UK’s leading public transport companies.

    ‘I’m grateful to Steve for his unwavering commitment and energy which have been instrumental in creating an award-winning T&I business. I thank him for his leadership and influence which has helped attract and nurture talented people and deliver fantastic projects across the UK.’

    Mr Hodgson said: ‘It’s fantastic to be joining WSP and I’m excited to lead such a well-renowned transport and infrastructure business.

    ‘WSP’s focus on innovative solutions, client care and sustainable design, as well as their industry-leading net zero ambitions, set them apart in the engineering consultancy sector, and I’m looking forward to working with the wealth of brilliant clients the firm advises.’

    WSP specialisms within the T&I business include rail, highways, transportation hubs, local government, and civil, bridge and ground.


    Channel: Transportation

    keywords: Transport Planning