The Big Interview: Martin Tugwell at the heart of transport


In the Autumn Statement, England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance (EEH) area secured £137m to start progressing key east-west road and rail schemes, another major boost to its ambitions to become a statutory sub-national transport body (STB).

One person at the centre of this success and with responsibility for helping turn this financial support into facts on the ground is programme director Martin Tugwell (53).

He should be well known to those in local government transport. As a speaker at conferences, round tables or seminars, his natural style is cerebral enthusiasm, like a professor always in the middle of discovering something new. By turns irrepressible and cautious, he is perhaps the person most likely to put their hand up at a conference and ask what things might look like in 20 years’ time.

Unsurprisingly his CV includes almost a who’s who of forward thinking bodies that take a more strategic view. It also tracks some of the key changes taking place in English transport over the last generation.

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