A new start for South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive


South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) will be jointly managed by two directors following the departure of Director General David Brown.


Ben Still and David Young will share the Director General responsibilities until such time as a permanent appointment is made to fill the top post. David Brown has left SYPTE to join Merseytravel as its Director General/Chief Executive.


Ben is to become Interim Director General and will also continue to fulfil his current duties as Chief Executive for the Sheffield City Region. David, as Interim Deputy Director General, takes on more operational responsibilities. He is currently SYPTE’s Director of Customer Experience. These arrangements have been approved by South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, and are effective immediately. The arrangements are expected to be in place for approximately 11 months until arrangements for a ‘Combined Authority’ are known and finalised. In the meantime, SYPTE will continue working to deliver and improve the public transport offer for South Yorkshire.


During this interim period Ben, in addition to fulfilling the statutory duties of Director General, will have specific responsibility for High Speed Rail and rail franchising. David will oversee the introduction of smart ticketing; develop more Bus Partnerships and progress major funded projects including the Better Bus Area, Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the Tram-Train rail project.


SYPTE will continue to work with its partners on its organisational efficiency programme and to attract inward investment, which since 2011 has attracted in excess of £150 million.


Mick Jameson, Chairman of South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, said: "We would like to thank David Brown for the work that he has done as Director General for the past five years but we know we are in good hands with both Ben Still and David Young at the helm.


"We are currently working through the arrangements and new structures for the Sheffield City Region ‘Combined Authority’ and as part of that work we will be making a permanent arrangement in due course."


Ben Still, Chief Executive at Sheffield City Region (SCR) Executive and Interim Director General at SYPTE said: "I am looking forward to working across both the LEP and SYPTE whilst arrangements to support the City Region Authority are developed by the SCR Leaders Board and the Integrated Transport Authority.


"It is important, during this period, that SYPTE continues to focus on delivering public transport projects and services for the benefit of people of South Yorkshire. I look forward to working with David Young and the staff at SYPTE.


"I will continue to support the LEP Board and its Local Authority partners in their key projects to drive economic growth and create jobs in the Sheffield City Region."


James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: "On behalf of the LEP Board, I welcome news that, for an interim period only, Ben will be extending his strategic role at SYPTE, whilst continuing to lead the work of the Sheffield City Region Executive Team.


"The next few months will be critical as the LEP develops and agrees its five year plan for economic growth with Government.


"Ben’s role as Interim Director General will be very helpful to the LEP as it develops its plans to deliver growth and prosperity for businesses and local people.


"His new responsibilities will especially help the LEP to co-ordinate the Sheffield City Region Growth Strategy, for which transport is a key economic priority."


Diana Terris, Chief Executive of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, said: "I welcome these interim appointments. I recognise the extent of change and challenge that we face in the city region, but I am confident of the new leadership arrangements and that we will continue to progress and improve our transport infrastructure in South Yorkshire."