26 January 2010

Transit's 2010 Power 50

It's that time again. New Transit has published its Power 50, a list that aims to provide a definitive list of the most influential people in public transport here in the UK.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, remains static in 4th place.

Below is the top 10:

1. Sir Moir Lockhead, FirstGroup
2. Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group

3. Lord Adonis, Secretary of State for Transport
4. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

5. Keith Ludeman, Go-Ahead Group

6. Iain Coucher, Network Rail

7. Peter Hendy, Transport for London

8. David Martin, Arriva

9. Theresa Villiers, Shadow Transport Secretary

10 Dr. Mike Mitchel, DfT's National Network Group

Go-Ahead Group's chief executive Keith Ludeman is a non-mover at 5.

Newcomers to the top 10 include Lord Adonis, Theresa Villiers and Dr. Mike Mitchell. Those who've gone from 2009's high-flyers include the former Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon, NEG's chairman Richard Bowker and Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling. What is a shock is that of the three fallers, none feature anywhere in Transit's 2010 Power 50, which isn't surprising for Hoon and Bowker, but for Alistair Darling to have been removed completely - being top of the financial food chain - must surely be a massive oversight?

Dr. Mike Mitchell and his team sets the strategy for the DfT's rail agenda and manages TOCs rail franchises. He snuck into 10th place.

Last year's judges were George Muir (former ATOC director general), Brian Cox (former exec director of Stagecoach), Transit's editor Robert Jack, Transit's contributing editor James Dark and First Class Partnerships' John Nelson. No mention presents itself of who comprises this year's judging panel.

As Transport Secretary, Lord Andrew Adonis' knowledge and passion have seen him catapulted into 3rd place.

Sir Moir Lockhead and Brian Souter retained their respective first and second positions on account of the might both weild within their respective companies. Lord Adonis, a relative newcomer to the DfT, shoots into third place on account of his personal interest, knowledge and understanding of the transport industry and the interventions and sanctions he's made; his previous post-holder only managed 6th position. Adonis effectively ensured that his position swapped places with that of Network Rail's Iain Coucher, who was knocked down into 6th.

Brian Souter of Stagecoach fame retains his second position in the Power 50.

Boris Johnson, Keith Ludeman and Peter Hendy retained their respective fourth, fifth and seventh positions. Arriva's David Martin climbed two places to 8th, which last year was occupied by the now disgraced Richard Bowker. The Tories' Theresa Villiers now occupies Alistair Darling's position and a newcomer at 10 is Dr. Mike Mitchell, an individual of whom I must confess to have never heard.

Transport for London's Commissioner Peter Hendy is a non-mover at 7.

Each entrant received details written about them including why they're on the list, the kind of year they've had and what is coming up for them during 2010. Some had their annual earnings listed, too. Within these comments were some absolute gems. None more so than 14th-placed Mary Grant, the MD of FirstGroup's UK rail business: "Is there no end to her talents? At November's circus-themed Railway Ball she wowed hundreds of her rail industry colleagues by performing a trapeze act to raise money for the Railway Children charity!"

Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers is the least-paid of the top 10. Expect that to change should the Tories come to office in June; both her pay and ranking will jump in next year's Power 50.

The judges were clearly struggling to suggest ways in which some entrants' 2010 could be shaped, citing Stagecoach's Les Warneford (ranked 23rd) as being the person to perhaps be tasked with turning around NEG's National Express West Midlands business, should his company be successful in acquiring it from them.

The most influential person in public transport is Sir Moir Lockhead, according to New Transit's judging panel.

With an annual salary of £90,000, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow (43rd) is paid more than
Theresa Villiers (£64,766), Jorge Cosmen (22nd, £44,000) and SMP Stewart Stevenson (41st, £81.449).

David Martin is Arriva's chief executive and is up 2 places to 8.

Of the top 10, the line up is as follows when ranked according to annual pay:

1. Iain Coucher, £1.2m
2. Brian Souter,£1.1m

3. Sir Moir Lockhead, £1m

4. David Martin, £869,360

5. Keith Ludeman, £818k

6. Peter Hendy, £409k

7. Boris Johnson, £390k

8. Dr. Mike Mitchell, £250k

9. Lord Adonis, £108,253

10. Theresa Villiers, £64,766

Number 1 in terms of salary is Iain Coucher, Network Rail's chief exec. Times are a-changing for the infraco, who faces a funding reduction for Control Period 4, while battling to improve its image as slow, laborious and uncooperative.

Boris Johnson's salary as London Mayor is £140k, but 'supplemented' by a quarter of a million pounds a year as a freelance journalist. Even with this addition, TfL Commissioner Peter Hendy is paid more than him.

Our Transit's 2009 Power 50 article can be seen here.

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