THE new boss of public transport company TransPennine Express has promised to make positive changes for rail passengers and the communities it serves.

Matthew Golton has been appointed managing director of TransPennine Express, effective from June 1.

Mr Golton has been with FirstGroup since 2006, holding a number of senior leadership roles, including Great Western Railway’s interim managing director and commercial development director and First Rail business development director.

Prior to his time with FirstGroup, he worked in the rail freight and energy sectors.

For more than a decade Mr Golton has played a leading role in GWR’s transformation programme and the successive renewal of its contracts with Government.

Working with stakeholders, suppliers and partners he successfully drove service, station, fleet, depot and route enhancements across the GWR network and attracted major multi-million investment into the business and its railway.

The company said his experience on the Great Western Route modernisation programme will be key as TPE completes the roll-out of the new Nova fleets and gears up to support the TransPennine Upgrade and other major rail enhancement programmes in the North of England and into Scotland.

He takes over the role from interim managing director, Liz Collins, who is retiring to take up a new part-time position in West Coast Partnership.

Mr Golton said: “I am delighted to be joining the team at TransPennine Express. I am looking forward to working with colleagues in TPE and the wider rail industry as we continue to play our part in supporting the UK’s recovery from the pandemic.

"I want TPE to be at the heart of delivering positive change for rail users and the communities that it serves in the North of England and into Scotland, and I look forward to working with colleagues and stakeholders to realise that."

Steve Montgomery, First Rail managing director, said: “Matthew brings a wealth of experience to the role with a passion and energy for delivering for passengers and our partners.

"As we work to complete the roll out of the new Nova fleets and support major rail enhancement programmes this is an exciting time for the customers and communities TPE serves, and we are really pleased to have Matthew joining the TPE team."