12th Annual Scottish Rail Conference: the future for rail in Scotland (online)
Minister for Transport, Scottish Government
Jenny Gilruth MSP was appointed as the Minister for Transport in January 2022.
Brought up and educated in Fife, Jenny Gilruth is a graduate of Glasgow University, where she studied Politics and Sociology, and of Strathclyde University where she studied for her Postgraduate in Secondary Education (Modern Studies).
Prior to being elected in 2016, Jenny worked for over a decade in education, most recently as a Head of Department in a Fife secondary school.
Prior to that, Jenny worked at Education Scotland as NQ lead for Modern Studies, supporting the development of the new qualifications and also as a Modern Studies teacher.
Ms Gilruth was elected to represent the Mid Fife and Glenrothes Constituency at the 2016 election.
She was previously the Minister for Europe and International Development and Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development.
Head of Strategic Planning - Scotland, Network Rail
Managing Director, Scotland’s Railway
Skills and experience
Alex Hynes was appointed Managing Director of Scotland's Railway on 24 June 2019, following two years as Managing Director of the Scotrail Alliance.
Prior to this, Alex was Managing Director of the Northern franchise for three and half years where he successfully delivered their best-ever customer satisfaction scores as well as record levels of employee engagement.
An experienced transport professional, Alex has almost 20 years of industry experience and a proven track record of delivering rail improvement and investment programmes.
Having spent his early career as a consultant for Halcrow Fox, Alex worked with the Office of Rail Regulation before joining the Go-Ahead Group in 2005 as Strategic Planning Manager and, in 2007, as Commercial Director at London Midland, and finally as Managing Director – Rail Development.
Alex is Chair of the Institution of Railway Operators and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
Alex is the Managing Director of Scotland's Railway, a close working relationship between Abellio ScotRail and Network Rail in Scotland.
Scotland’s Railway covers a large geographical area from the Borders to Thurso at the far tip of the North East of Scotland. It provides rapid access along busy commuter routes to our 7 cities. It fulfils a variety of travel needs from business and leisure to daily commuter services, including cross border services; it supports rural services and the needs of freight customers alike.
Commercial & Customer Experience Director, Lumo
Matt was appointed as Lumo’s Commercial & Customer Experience Director in March 2020. In this role, Matt leads work on Lumo’s core policies, procedures and propositions, such as customer journey mapping, complaints handling procedures, catering and retail channels. He also leads on Lumo’s Customer Charter and Accessible Travel Plans, both of which serve as core pillars for the operator’s customer experience offer. Alongside these responsibilities, Matt acts as Deputy to the Managing Director, delivering board updates and acting as a key point of contact for external stakeholders. Matt has extensive knowledge of the rail industry; having started his career in the FirstGroup graduate management programme, he moved to the operator’s Great Western franchise, working in a number of senior roles. He then joined MTR Crossrail as Head of Stations & Revenue Protection, becoming Deputy Customer Experience Director in 2018 during the construction of the Elizabeth Line.
Senior Stakeholder Manager, Transport Focus
Robert liaises with all levels of Government and transport providers, advocates for the best deal for transport users, and uses our insight to secure improvements for transport users. He joined Transport Focus in 1999, after eighteen years working for British Rail.
Favourite journey: a hark back to childhood days during the summer holidays when we would join a mystery bus tour from Motherwell to some unknown exotic destination. The mystery lasted a few minutes - if the bus turned right it meant Troon or Saltcoats, left it meant Portobello. Happy days!
Deputy Chief Ombudsman, Rail Ombudsman and Dispute Resolution Ombudsman
Judith read Law at King’s College London for 3 years before graduating with honours in 1998. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and a training contract before qualifying as a solicitor in 2001. She was previously employed by a City Law firm, practising in Commercial Law. Judith joined the Ombudsman in 2011 and now specialises in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
In 2018 Judith was instrumental in the establishment and implementation of the Rail Ombudsman. In her role as Deputy Chief Ombudsman of the Rail Ombudsman, Dispute Resolution Ombudsman and the Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman, she oversees decisions and recommendations and provides training and insight to the sectors and their stakeholders.
Judith is a regular speaker at industry and ombudsman conferences and events and is the current Chair of the Ombudsman Association Policy Network and serves as a member of the Civil Justice Council’s ADR Liaison Panel. She has written extensively on ADR and consumer issues and the co-author of the published Ombudsman content for Atkins Court Forms. She’s also an active member of the EU Consumer ADR collaboration TravelNet, giving her a wide and varied overview of consumer law and policy.
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Programme offered good overview of changes introduced by new legislation. Good for learning.