GO-OP people


Director: Roland Bushell

Roland Bushell is a freelance lecturer contracted to Bath Spa University in the UK, and U.Conn and Susquehanna Universities in the US.  His contribution to the GOOP board draws from this background and his former career as a manager working in operations roles in Marks and Spencers and GUS ltd.  As a resident of West Somerset, he has been active in campaigning for improvements in community transport provision and is a passionate advocate of renewable energy.  While this does not fully explain his membership of the West Somerset Railway Association or his lifelong involvement in the Heritage Rail Movement in the UK, combatting imminent climate change and protecting the nation’s industrial heritage need not be mutually exclusive in his opinion!

Director: Martin Bond

Martin worked for the railways for 30 years, starting in a clerical position and working his way up through various operating positions, including timetabling and diagramming, and finishing as a training manager for various IT bespoke systems, including TOPS and Trust.

Since his retirement he has been active with his local rail user group for the line between Crewe and Shrewsbury and is now chairman of the Association, lobbying rail franchisees for improved services, and involved in specifying the replacement for the Wales and Borders franchise in 2018.

Director: Jim Robbins

Jim Robbins is a Labour and Co-operative Party Councillor in Swindon, and Chair of the Swindon Borough Council Scrutiny committee. He is a passionate supporter of Co-operative groups and is excited to see GO-OP succeed as an environmentally-friendly pioneer.

Director: Jeff Turner

Jeff has more than 30 years’ international experience of consultancy and research around transport and social equity, including work in Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South East Asia and Africa. His expertise in mainstreaming gender into transport, energy, ICT and other infrastructure sector policy and operations has been developed in consultancy for a range of international finance institutions including World Bank, African Development Bank, European Commission, Asian Development Bank, DfID and KfW.

He has advised on transitions to low-carbon energy, promotion of gender-equity in infrastructure sector employment, development of gender equality indicators and monitoring systems for transport and energy infrastructure sector projects.

In a European context, his involvement in sustainable transport policy development has improved understanding of mobility demand and potential for low-carbon transitions, feasibility of PPP projects around inland waterway, rail, aviation, port and urban transport projects, and evaluation of transport sector operations and policy.

Director: Dr. Nick Kennedy

Dr Nick Kennedy has spent 22 years as NHS Consultant, Anaesthetist and Intensivist working in frontline acute services, as well as seven years in hospital management roles.

He has served as a non-executive director of four NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups Governing Bodies (Boards), and two joint boards, in two healthcare systems (Bristol and Devon). This has provided him with experience of several different Boards styles, culture and dynamics; he understands what is needed to ensure successful board function and build consensus.

He is also a Trustee for St Margaret's Hospice in Somerset, and has a lifelong interest in railways and buses.

Director of Safety: Clyde Schwartz

Clyde comes to GO-OP Co-operative from Colas Rail, the award-winning railway specialists, delivering expert design, engineering, project management construction and maintenance solutions for the light rail, metro, mainline and highspeed markets. Clyde was the Head of Operations/Delivery/Optimization where he led and managed a team of over 250 staff managing a P&L of over £50 million. He has worked in and for the rail industry for nearly 20 years. He is efficient at controlling Budgets and Safety and Competency Management Systems as well as interfacing with all stakeholders and liaising with clients at a senior level.

Director of Operations: David Owen

David is a professional operator with over 35 years experience at all levels of railway operations and safety standards, having started his career as a train driver. He has worked in a variety of roles including operations, service delivery, project management, planning, performance, timetabling, and training within a number of different rail companies and regions in the UK. He also has experience of working on overseas rail networks, including providing expert operational witness testimony. He is recognised as an industry expert on Traincrew rostering and resourcing, including workforce planning, establishments and management, and has supported the winning franchise / concession bidders for Arriva Rail North, MTR Crossrail (now MTR Elizabeth Line), Arriva Rail London and First/MTR South Western Railway.

Director of Finance: Jo Burroughs

Joanne is Head of Management Accounts at the Midcounties Co-operative, the UK's largest independent co-operative and a £1bn business with more than 500 sites and 439,000 members. Midcounties has been a long standing supporter of GO-OP’s development, and is the largest single investor having provided 5% of our equity.

Before taking her current position, Joanne was a Finance Business Partner at Millward Brown; and before that Financial Controller at Blacks Leisure Group. She developed her skills in financial management during the seven years she spent at Lloyds Pharmacy, where she started out as an Assistant Accountant and became the Commercial Financial Controller.

Director and Secretary: Alex Lawrie

Alex is an expert social enterprise advisor with twenty years' experience in legal structures, financial management, community share offers, property development and project management. He is employed by Somerset Co-op Services CIC as their lead development worker.

He is the author of the Somerset Rules - a new and unique governing document for multi-stakeholder co-operatives (suitable for co-op societies, community benefit societies and community interest companies), combining the accountability and democracy of co-ops with the social reporting and investment opportunities associated with social enterprise. He is also the author both of Simply Finance (Co-operatives UK, 2010) and Empowering the Earth (Green Books, 2000).

He has managed several community share issues enabling over £ 1M of social investment for two Housing Co-ops, Somerset Co-op Community Land Trust, Lightweight Community Transport, the Ecological Land Co-operative and others. In addition to GO-OP, he is also a director of The Development Co-op, The Ecological Land Co-op and Somerset Co-op Community Land Trust.

Alex holds a BA in Politics & Parliamentary Studies and is a SFEDI Accredited Social Enterprise Advisor. Most recently he has gained a Masters Degree in Strategy, Change and Leadership from Bristol University.

Advisor to the board: Mark Leving

Mark Leving has been a railwayman his entire career, joining the industry in 1978. Having studied for a degree and working his way up ‘through the ranks’, he joined First Hull Trains as the company’s first MD in 2003. Under Mark’s leadership, in what is an extremely complex and heavily regulated environment, this open-access company was transformed: unlike most other train operating companies, First Hull Trains does not receive any subsidies, and is operated on a wholly commercial basis.

Mark left First Hull Trains in 2009 to work for Passenger Focus, and is currently employed as a Rail Franchise Analyst with the Go-Ahead Group.

Advisor to the board: Dr Nigel G Harris

Nigel is a career railway planner. His experience of passenger (mainline, suburban and metro) and freight railways gives him an excellent understanding of how railways actually work, both physically and economically.

He has almost 20 years' experience as a consultant (having now worked for most British train operators, and on every continent except Antarctica!) after nearly 8 years as Network Analyst at London Underground.

He lectures on railway planning issues at the Universities of Newcastle and Birmingham (UK), and Sydney (Australia).

He is the author of 60+ papers, plus co-author/editor of books on "Planning Passenger Railways", "Planning Freight Railways", and "The Privatisation of British Rail".

Advisor to the board: Chris Phillimore

Chris is MD of TIR Ltd, a multi-disciplinary Consultancy Business specialising in Rail. For ten years he worked in the construction industry managing a variety projects and specialised in civil engineering and services procurement and delivery. Chris trained initially as an architect and undertook a Management Diploma in 2001/2.

Chris specialises in the management of complex and highly regulated businesses with an emphasis on project development and delivery against tightly defined delivery schedules. Throughout his adult life his retained a strong commitment to Rail as the most efficient and environmentally sound mode of mass transport.