Community Rail Awards Judges

David Sindall has been Director of Consultancy Development for Aldridge Prenton, a post he has held since March 2016. He also chairs the Vision 2020 (UK) Transport and Travel Group. Vision 2020 (UK) are the umbrella body that bring together organisations representing blind and partially sighted people.

Prior to moving to Aldridge Prenton David was Head of Disability & Inclusion for 10 years at the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). He has extensive experience of developing positive and better practices in the rail sector and has played a key role in developing European legislation governing rail accessibility as a Community of European Railways speaker on the relevant European committee.

Kuldinder Bassi MBE has been Community Rail Team Leader at The Department for Transport since 2010 with oversight of the government’s community rail programme.  Kul has responsibility for the delivery of the Department’s Community Rail Strategy and is their stakeholder manager for community rail partnerships and station adoption groups.

Stuart Burgess is a board member for Passenger Focus and previously chaired the Commission for Rural Communities and served as the Rural Advocate to the Prime Minister for a number of years

Jan Garrill has been Chief Executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation since September 2014. She started her working life in transport with British Rail, Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Authority and Stagecoach but then moved to a marketing role with Sage and for the last 10 years she has been Head of Communities at Newcastle City Council. She is originally from Sheffield, has a history degree from York University, a Masters in Marketing from Northumbria University and is a fellow of the RSA.

John Kitchen – sometime professional librarian. Lifetime rail enthusiast. Community Rail Officer for the Mid Cheshire Line 2003-2007.  Rail Officer for Cumbria 2007-2013.  ACoRP Board Member 2005 – 2012.

Barbara Saunders is an independent Consumer Consultant and former Board member of Passenger Focus.

Nicky Forsdike   5 years after completing her degree in music and looking fair set for a successful career in music publishing, Nicola joined British Rail! There followed 12 eventful years that saw the fledging of community rail partnerships, the development of the TransPennine Express network, jazz on trains, and privatisation – an unbelievable training ground for an entrepreneurial marketer (and for Nicola). In 2000 she crossed into consultancy, taking her curiosity and skills to four continents, developing business and marketing plans for railways as well as undertaking strategic consultancy assignments on various infrastructure markets.

Mike Bishop, founder and Chair of multi – award winning Friends of Handforth Station, formed 1995, the first Friends Group in ACORP. Mike was formerly Environmental Works Manager for British Rail, judge for BR Best Station Competition, promotor and Chair of the Anglo-Irish Best Station Competition and Board member of ACoRP.

Susan Miles MBE – ACoRP Community Stations Project Officer 2004 – 2013.  Susan has thirty-five years’ experience in the management and restoration of community buildings and community development. Her work has included bringing to fruition a National Demonstration Project to bring rural services to one site and the development of Community Stations Initiative.  She was awarded an MBE in 2006.

Mike Franklin has worked with the railways for nearly 20 years. Having started with the Environment team at Railtrack Major Projects, he spent 7 years as Rail Officer at Hampshire County Council, playing a major role in re-opening Chandlers Ford station. He went on to be a Station Manager for South West Trains and a freelance consultant, before joining the Network Rail Community Rail team in 2006. During 8 years in the role he developed the Network Rail Community Scheme to total 100 schemes across the network. Mike now works for the Environment team on the Great Western Route Modernisation project.

Mark Rose has been leading on the development of Stations Policy for Transport for Greater Manchester since joining in November 2015. A former Head of Stations Policy for the Department for Transport, he was architect of the new franchising vision for stations. This vision brought a clear focus where the needs of the customer and communities was paramount, as well as a more disciplined and transparent approach to asset management.

Mark possesses a unique perspective on the role of stations, having held industry positions that have included working for passenger representative organisations and industry watchdogs, within the area of rail regulation, legal and contractual frameworks, franchising policy development, asset and commercial property management: He is known for ensuring that the customer remains at the heart of the decision making process.

Mark is a passionate communicator and ‘evangelist’ for the greater role that stations can play within our industry and the wider community. He was also a contributor to the Rail Delivery Group’s “Vision for Stations” as part of its Station Strategy Group.

Paul Abell – Lifelong railway enthusiast, especially after a round trip on the Liverpool Overhead Railway and former Editor of Today’s Railways UK.

Paul Bigland is a well-known photographer & writer whose career spans 16 years. Paul works for both the national and international media and companies within the rail industry.

Paul Cook is Head of Site & Curator at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate.