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Geoff Inskip to quit Centro and ‘overcrowded’ West Midlands transport field

Geoff Inskip to quit Centro and ‘overcrowded’ West Midlands transport field

🕔07.Aug 2015

Geoff Inskip, the official at the head of West Midlands public transport body Centro, is quitting after almost a decade in charge.

Mr Inskip, who was instrumental in helping to deliver high profile schemes like the refurbishment of Birmingham New Street Station and the metro tram extensions, will leave at the end of the year.

He was first appointed director general of Centro in 2006 after joining from Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE). His career in the transport sector spans 30 years, with experience in the finance, rail and public transport arenas.

His departure had always appeared likely from the moment the region’s seven metropolitan councils decided to form the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority and the appointment last November of Laura Shoaf as WMITA strategic director for transport.

Ms Shoaf’s appointment meant the West Midlands had a somewhat overcrowded public transport field with two highly paid chiefs, one running Centro and one running the WMITA.

Plans for a West Midlands combined authority, which will have strategic responsibility for running public transport through the WMITA, may also have been a factor in Mr Inskip’s decision to go.

Mr Inskip said:

It has been a great privilege to have led Centro for the last nine years. In particular I have thoroughly enjoyed working with colleagues and friends at local authority partners, transport operators and of course members of the Integrated Transport Authority and the Transport Delivery Committee.

Not only has Centro delivered improved public transport services for passengers but more recently, with the onset of HS2, we are already on course to deliver major extensions to the Midland Metro tram system and the Sprint rapid transit programme, to ensure we have the necessary local connections into HS2.

With the transition of Centro into the new Combined Authority structure the region is in a strong position to take forward its Strategic Transport Plans to deliver even more for passengers with better bus services through the new Alliance with operators, extensions to the Metro, the delivery of a Sprint network and the continued roll-out of the Swift card and smart travel information.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, chair of WMITA, said:

I would like to put on record my thanks to Geoff for his tremendous service and to wish him all the best for the future.

He has demonstrated an impressive track record of delivering major transport regeneration and passenger service improvements across the West Midlands.

In particular, he’s helped us to secure a number of high profile and much-needed schemes from central Government which have helped transform the public transport infrastructure across our area.

These have included New Street Station, the Wolverhampton and Stourbridge interchanges, a new fleet of class 172 trains, the Swift smartcard and the Metro extensions programme.

After qualifying as a chartered accountant, Mr Inskip began working as a management consultant before moving on to work for a merchant bank in Manchester.

In 1988 GMPTE invited him to look at the private sector options for delivering Manchester’s Metrolink tram system under a public private partnership and in 1992 he was appointed director of finance at GMPTE.

In 1996 he became project director for Phase 2 of Metrolink, overseeing its delivery on time and within budget in 1999. He was appointed deputy director general of GMPTE in 1999 with special responsibility for Phase 3 of Metrolink.

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