Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

ScotRail criticised for ‘staggering’ appointment of new chief operating officer who has no railways experience

Joanne Maguire, new chief operating officer of ScotRail.

Union leaders have hit out at the “staggering” appointment of a new chief operating officer for ScotRail with no railways experience.

Joanne Maguire, 42, will take up the role on day one of the newly state-owned train operator on April 1 next year.

She is currently resources vice principal at the University of the West of Scotland responsible for finance, human resources, information services and health and safety.

According to her university profile, Ms Maguire has “vast experience” in human resources, including as HR director at City of Glasgow College and as head of HR for global food manufacturing company, Bakkavör Group.

But ministers have come under fire over her appointment at ScotRail after it emerged she has no experience in railways.

Transport minister ‘must meet with unions’

Train drivers union Aslef described the appointment as a “huge error”.

Kevin Lindsay, Aslef Scotland Organiser said: “The appointment of a chief operating officer with not one day’s experience from within the railway is staggering.

“Scotland has a chance to build its new publicly operated railway properly yet ScotRail and the Scottish Government have made a huge error before the first train has left the station.

“We need to be getting Scotland back on track with a world-class service that’s affordable and helps meet our climate targets.

“Yet days after announcing fare hikes we learn that this crucial appointment has been made to someone with no experience of running the railways.

“The transport minister must meet with Aslef and other rail unions immediately if our new service is to be prevented from going off the rails.”

Appointment comes as trains nationalised

Ms Maguire will take over from current chief operating officer Ian McConnell as Scottish Rail Holdings, the new public body created to oversee Scotland’s trains, takes over from Dutch state-owned company Abellio in April.

Abellio took over the ScotRail franchise in 2015 but had its contract ended early amid criticism over cancellations and performance levels.

The Scottish Government announced in March that ScotRail will be nationalised.

Alex Hynes, managing director of ScotRail, said he is “delighted we have managed to secure Joanne’s agreement to join ScotRail trains at what is an exciting time for Scotland’s Railway”.

He said Ms Maguire “brings a wealth of leadership experience to this role, which will be vital as we transition to the new public body”.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government welcomes the appointment which we understand was conducted through a fair and open recruitment process.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier