Hull Trains’ new Managing Director outlines priorities for the operator
At the unveiling of a new commemorative 21st anniversary design on the fifth and final unit of its Paragon fleet, Hull Trains’ new Managing Director, David Gibson, has vowed to make the operator a ‘beacon’ of East Yorkshire.
Credit: Hull Trains
The occasion marked the first public duties for David since taking up his new role on 1 October 2021 and he will now focus on leading the company on its continued journey to recovery after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite it being early days, the former Royal Air Force officer has already seen plenty of reasons to be optimistic and is determined to help Hull Trains become a ‘beacon’ of East Yorkshire once again.
“I am incredibly proud to have joined Hull Trains as its Managing Director at this pivotal time in its history,” said David.
“I have lived locally for 18 years and since 2003 I have travelled on Hull Trains services. I know how important it is to the region. Hull Trains has been a beacon for the city and the wider region, and I want it to be that again.”
Engagement and collaboration are high on the list of priorities for David, who has already spent time in his first week on board services from Hull to London meeting colleagues “Our colleagues are at the heart of our business; they make it happen. I will personally support frontline crews to make sure we are united in what we want to achieve.”
After leaving the Royal Air Force in 2003, David joined Hull City Council as Assistant Chief Executive where he helped lead the council’s transformation to most improved council of the year. He later moved to Capita’s Consulting and Transformation division, as a Director in the Programme & Project Management Practice, delivering solutions for several clients in the UK & Ireland. David’s most recent roles include Managing Director for DB Regio Tyne & Wear and Service Delivery Director for Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries.
“First and foremost, we need to return Hull Trains to profitability,” commented David when outlining his immediate plans. “We are aiming to recover and then grow revenue so that Hull Trains is sustainable in the future.
“We have a recovery plan, and we are seeing passengers return to rail travel. However, the market is changing so we need to change in line with the market, which we can do as an open access operator. We can also stimulate the market and I will be working alongside our internal teams and looking at new ways of doing just that.”
The commemorative design on the fifth and final unit of £60 million state-of-the-art Hitachi Rail fleet celebrates 21 years of Hull Trains.
David added: “There is so much to be optimistic about. We have a wonderful team at Hull Trains. We are welcoming back old customers, and seeing new ones join us. Our fleet of Paragon trains are not only more environmentally friendly but offer an improved customer experience, with greater reliability and more capacity. It has been a challenging period but it’s time to look towards a brighter future.”