Military men to run Edinburgh transport

George Lowder

Three of the top jobs in Edinburgh transport have been filled — two of them by former military men — as the capital city’s integrated bus-and-tram transport leaders seek to put behind them the boardroom strife and internal executive fighting of the past.

Former army commander George Lowder has been appointed chief executive of Transport for Edinburgh, ex-army corporal Lea Harrison will be general manager at Edinburgh Trams, and career transport professional Richard Hall will be managing director at Lothian Buses.

“We expected that these positions would attract high calibre candidates and we weren’t disappointed,” said Lesley Hinds, chair of Transport for Edinburgh.

“Transport for Edinburgh and the city it serves are major attractions for some of the best in the UK transport profession and I’m delighted that we have secured such exceptional interest.

“Our new senior team will be pivotal in supporting the transport infrastructure we need but also the wider economy.”

Lowder will join Transport for Edinburgh after a decorated 35-year career in the military.

Commissioned into The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) in 1981, he studied Scots Law at Aberdeen University and gained a Master’s Degree from Cranfield University before commanding The Army in Scotland.

Lowder received a Commander’s Commendation for his actions in Operation Desert Storm, a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in Bosnia and in 1998 he was made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Lowder was born and educated in Edinburgh and his family live in the capital.

Harrison started his career in the Royal Corps of Transport as a driver and progressed to the rank of corporal before leaving the Army to join the Greater Manchester Metrolink as a tram driver in 1991.

Harrison then worked his way up from driver to general manager.

Since 2011, Harrison helped lead an expansion of the Nottingham Express Transit tram network and is currently head of service delivery with NET concessionaire, Tramlink Nottingham.

Harrison gained a post graduate diploma in management studies and is a chartered member of the Management Institute.

Hall is a seasoned bus professional and a chartered fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport.

After studying electrical engineering, Hall started his bus career in coaches and private hire and then spent six years with Stagecoach and three years with Veolia Transport in Wales.

He joined Arriva in 2010 where he worked in the west coast of Scotland and Glasgow before working on the transportation delivery for the 2012 Olympics.

Hall is currently managing director for RATP in London where he has been responsible for leading more than 3,700 people, across 11 operating sites, operating contracted bus services for Transport for London as well as a developing commercial bus and coach operation launched in 2015.