Mike Brown, the head of London’s Tube network, has been appointed as the capital’s new transport commissioner by the Transport for London board.
Brown has been acting commissioner since the departure of Sir Peter Hendy in July and becomes TfL’s full-time leader with immediate effect.
He first joined London Underground in 1989 and served as chief operating officer from 2003 before leaving to run Heathrow Airport in 2008.
Brown later returned to the organisation as managing director of LU and Rail, a role in which he was responsible for more than one billion passenger journeys per year and a series of major upgrade projects across the Tube, London Overground and DLR.
In his new role Brown will have oversight of the UK’s largest integrated transport network and will be a key advisor to Mayor Boris Johnson and his successor as they draw up policies and projects to keep the capital’s growing population moving.
Speaking after his appointment was confirmed, Mr Brown commented: “I am honoured to be appointed London’s new Transport Commissioner. London’s transport networks have been modernised and customer service transformed in recent years, enabling us to carry more people, more safely and reliably than ever before.”
He said the organisation he now leads must “continue to invest, deliver even greater efficiencies and develop our commercial revenue, to support more jobs, homes and ensure London remains the engine of the UK economy.”
Welcoming the new commissioner to his post, Mayor Johnson said: “Under Mike’s leadership, we’ve seen record numbers of customers carried on our Tube, DLR and London Overground networks and Tube delays have fallen by well over 40 per cent since 2010.
“He brings decades of service, experience and leadership to the role and is the right person to lead the next wave of modernisation and improvement at TfL, to ensure London continues to grow and prosper to the benefit of the whole country.”
Mr Brown’s appointment has been welcomed by Len Duvall, Leader of the Labour group on the London Assembly, who described the new commissioner as ” a very able candidate with vast experience of London’s transport network.”
Duvall added: “Transport is one of the mayoralty’s highest priorities and with a change of leadership next May and many big projects such as Crossrail coming down the tracks the challenges facing the new Commissioner will be significant.
“There is also a lot of work to do reaching out to staff and improving industrial relations.
“With government investment harder than ever to come by the new Commissioner will need to be as comfortable negotiating and lobbying Government as they are with the day to day task of keeping the transport network moving. I wish Mike well in his new post and look forward to working with him.”
Greens on the London Assembly have also welcomed Mr Brown’s appointment but have criticised the Mayor for not using Sir Peter’s departure to reduce the role’s £500,000 salary and bonus package.
Baroness Jenny Jones commented: “The Mayor has missed a golden opportunity to ratchet down top pay at TfL. The police commissioner is paid £290,000, so paying the TfL commissioner more than £500,000 doesn’t look fair or necessary.”
“This appointment was a key test of the Mayor’s commitment to pay equality in London. Most Londoners think £200,000 is more than enough for a top job. More equal pay is not only fair, it also makes for a healthier and happier society.”