Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has appointed a new Chief Operating Officer, who is swapping Australia for North East England to take on the job.
Martin Kearney, who runs transport services in the cities of Sydney and Auckland, will direct all of the day-to-day activities that Nexus delivers and will lead its senior management team.
This will include the Tyne and Wear Metro, which carries 36 million passengers a year, and the iconic the cross-Tyne Shields Ferry service. He will start his new job at Nexus in the New Year.
Mr Kearney, who has over 30 years of experience in the public transport industry, is currently the Chief Officer for Train and Ferry Operations at Transdev Australasia, a company that provides public transport services in eight locations in Australia and New Zealand.
He said: “Nexus will be at the heart of North East England’s ambitions to transform local transport in the years ahead, as we introduce a £362 million new Metro train fleet and rise to the exciting challenge to modernise and re-invigorate public transport across the North East.
“I am excited to be relocating back to the North of England and I can’t wait to join the team of 1,200 staff at Nexus who are proud to be delivering the best possible local services to customers. I am looking forward to working with local authority and industry partners to help drive economic growth in a sustainable way – using great public transport to support jobs and opportunity across our communities.”
Tobyn Hughes will continue to have overall responsibility for Nexus as its Director General as part of his new and wider remit as Managing Director Transport North East. Mr Hughes will divide his time between Nexus and leading the regional transport team in developing future strategy and investment programmes, as well as growing partnerships with national and regional bodies.
He said: “I am delighted to welcome Martin to the Nexus team as we prepare to deliver ambitious investment plans for Metro and the wider public transport network.
“Martin brings a wealth of experience in providing excellent local transport for global cities and represents a first class appointment to the Nexus team.”
Mr Kearney, who is originally from Leeds, started his career at British Rail before going on to work in rail across the North of England.
In December 2012 he made the switch to New Zealand to head up a major project implementing a new fleet of trains and transforming the rail network in Auckland.
For the last three years he has been running the iconic Sydney Harbour ferry service. His current responsibilities include Sydney and Brisbane ferries, and the Auckland and Wellington rail businesses.
Mr Kearney will start his new role on January 20.