Stephen Edwards, executive director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), has been announced as the chair of the Urban Transport Group, the UK’s network of the seven largest city region transport authorities.
Edwards succeeds outgoing chair, Nexus managing director Tobyn Hughes, and will sit for a term of two years. The Urban Transport Group board is made up of seven directors, representing each of its full members.
Commenting on his new role, Edwards said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to chair the Urban Transport Group and to work with colleagues from across the city regions to transform urban transport for the better. There is a strong consensus around the need for high quality, integrated urban public transport networks that can support the greener, healthier and more prosperous city regions that we want to see.
“Together, we are at the heart of delivering programmes to achieve this, including extensive investment in better rail and bus services, as well as in making active travel easier and more attractive. At the same time, we are keenly aware of the pressure that we are all under on funding, and through the Urban Transport Group network we will continue to seek ways to reduce costs through co-commissioning, sharing expertise and making the case for greater investment and support for urban transport.”
Edwards said that the group was ready to face many challenges and opportunities over the coming year including the rail review, the spending review, Brexit and new forms of transport provision which are being unleashed by transformative technological change. “If other urban areas would like to join our growing and successful network, then we would be more than happy to talk with them,” he said.
Edwards joined SYPTE in November 2015 following a successful career at government services partner Liberata UK Ltd. He has wide experience in both the public and private sector, having worked in a range of service areas including business improvement, customer experience and service operations. He also spent over 20 years at BT, working with a wide range of multinational clients.
The Urban Transport Group represents the seven strategic transport authorities which between them serve more than 20 million people in Greater Manchester (Transport for Greater Manchester), Liverpool City Region (Merseytravel), London (Transport for London), Sheffield City Region (South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive), Tyne and Wear (Nexus), West Midlands (Transport for West Midlands) and West Yorkshire (West Yorkshire Combined Authority). The group is also a wider professional network with associate members in Strathclyde, Bristol and the West of England, Tees Valley and Nottingham.