Who We Are


Geoffrey Claydon CB LLB M.Inst TA CMILT
Jane Cole


Treasurer & Deputy Chair
Publications Director
Chair of Campaigns Group
Area Liaison Officer
Technical Director

Membership Secretary
Development Officer

Mainspring Representative


Andrew Braddock
Anthony Depledge OBE, BA, FCILT, MIMgt.
Geoff Inskip
Ian Longworth (Isle of Man Transport)
Andy Morris
Alex Ritchie
Paul Rowen 
David Russell BSc(Eng), C.Eng, FIMechE, CMILT
Michael Taplin FCILT MCMI


The LRTA has Area Officers, who organize local campaigning and arrange local meetings, in most large urban areas of the U.K. as well as a few outside the U.K.


East Anglia
New Zealand Agent
South Wales
Tyne & Wear
West Midlands


Brian Lomas
Martin Thorne

John Woods

Mike Maybin
Melvyn Reuben

David Connor
Roger Morris
Brent Efford

Paul Abell
Martin Petch
Alan Wilkins
Graham Jellett
Mike Ballinger

Paul Rowen BSc, PGCE, NPQH, Chair of the LRTA, Member Executive UK Tram

Paul has been Chair of the LRTA since February 2018, prior to that he was Vice Chair from 2013-2018. Paul has extensive experience in the governance of UK Transport systems having served as an elected Councillor on the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority for 9 years from 1996-2005. He was also Leader of Rochdale Council from 1992-96 and 2004-05 during which time he led the campaign for the Manchester Metrolink Phase 3. He was elected to the UK Parliament in 2005-2010 during which time he set up the All Party Light Rail Group, becoming its first Chair. In 2007 he was awarded the Campaigner of the Year Award at the Light Rail Awards. This was in recognition of his efforts in helping secure funding for Nottingham Phase 2 and the renewal of the Blackpool Tramway. In 2010 he chaired an APPG inquiry into the Light Rail in the UK. Many of the recommendations of this report were subsequently adopted in the UK Government Green Light for Light Rail Report which included the setting up of UK Tram and the Tram Train Pilot in Sheffield. In 2013 Paul became a Board Member of Passenger Focus, a government funded but independent body that represents and champions the opinions of passengers using the UK’s Rail, Bus and Tram network. He helped introduce the first UK wide Tram Passenger Survey. As Chair of the LRTA he has continued to advocate and influence for the development of more Light Rail systems in the UK.

Vic Simons

Vic Simons is a retired Chartered Accountant and Railway Project Manager having worked on or being connected with Railways for more than 40 years. He worked in both Europe and the USA as well as the UK. Following retirement Vic embarked on a second career of photo journalism writing articles on various light rail and streetcar systems in North America on behalf of Tramways and Urban Transit magazine.

Carl Frederik Isgar

Carl Isgar is the chairman of the LRTA Publications Group (PG). He has been an LRTA member for over 50 years and has had a passion for trams since his early childhood. In pursuit of his interest, he has travelled extensively around many parts of the world. He joined PG in 2011, became its chairman in 2013, and was co-opted to Council in November the same year. Carl was elected to Council in February 2018 and re-elected for a three-year period at the 2018 AGM. He is a retired Chartered Surveyor with considerable business management experience both in the UK and overseas. Since retiring in 2011 he has developed a keen interest in transport publishing and has typeset three of the LRTA’s recent titles.

The Publications Group (PG) is a functional group of the LRTA and as chairman Carl’s remit is to ensure that the terms of reference that were agreed by Council on 1st January 2009 are adhered to. These are:

Jim Harkins FCILT MTPS

Jim has been an elected Council Member for over 30 years. He has been the Chair of the TramForward Campaigns Group (formerly the External Relations Group) since its inception, leading and shaping Campaigns for more Tramways and Light Rail in the UK and around the world. He has a passion for Trams as a means to address the pollution along major transport corridors in cities addressing both exhaust and particularly the Non-Exhaust Emissions (PM2.5) from tyre and road surface wear that are particularly deadly to health as confirmed by the WHO and The Air Quality Expert Group, an expert committee of DEFRA.

An active Board Member of Lightweight Community Transport Ltd

Jim is the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group, a Fellow - Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and a Member - Transport Planning Society.

John Laker MCIPS

John joined the LRTL in 1954, later renamed the LRTA. He has served on the LRTA Council since 1983, and for many years organised the Annual Officers Conference (AOC).

His career was in Procurement, both in the Private and Public sectors. He is a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, and past Chairman of its Energy Sub Committee and past Chairman of the Harrow Branch. After 20 years working for Hoover as a production Buyer, he joined London Transport in 1976, dealing with high value contracts for both the Underground and Buses. He took severance in 1995, when London Buses was privatised. He subsequently worked as a Contracts Executive with Rank Xerox.


Tim is a 65 year old chartered civil engineer with over 45 years experience in the Railway Industry having worked for British Rail, Atkins Rail, Strategic Rail Authority, UK Government Department for Transport and is now a Director of the Light Rail Transit Association. Tim has gained a broad experience of railway civil engineering ranging from PWay & S&C design, depots upgrades, major station improvements, and major projects involving Parliamentary or TWA Powers including the Thameslink Programme and LUL’s East London Line Southern Extension

Tim has been an Expert Witness for KCRC on the East Rail extension to Loc Ma Chau in Hong Kong as their Railway Alignment expert and has represented an Objector to the L.I.F.E TWA proposal near Slough and the junction of the M4/M25.

Tim has experience with light rail, evaluating routes for the Dublin Metro West proposal, extensions to Warsaw Metro and the Sheffield to Rotherham Tram Train Pilot.

At the DfT, Tim was the acknowledged expert on infrastructure such as track, structures and stations and sat on several cross-industry committees covering standards, research, development and innovation. Tim has been a member of teams undertaking Scottish Government Reviews for several railway projects in Scotland. Tim sits on the BSI Committees for Railway Infrastructure (RAE/2) and subcommittees for Train Track Interaction and Ballastless Track.

Tim is a Tutor on the Institution of Railway Operators Degree and Diploma courses on Railway Operations Management – Railway Systems Engineering Modules (in association with Glasgow Caledonian University)

Tim is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Member of the Association for Project Management and a Fellow of the Permanent Way Institution, chairing their Croydon and Brighton Section.

Dr David Walmsley BSc PhD CMILT MCIHT, UKTram, Transport Analyst

Until he retired in 2012 David worked at the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), a trade association for the bus, coach and light rail industry. He was the Fixed Track Executive, looking after the interests of the light rail operators, dealing on the operators' behalf with the Department for Transport, the Office of Rail Regulation and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch. He was Secretary of the Light Rail Operators' Group, whose meetings rotated around all the members. He  was one of the two UK representatives on a European tram safety project (COST Action TU1103) and carried on in this role after he retired until the final report of the project was published in 2015. After this, the project morphed into the Urban Tram Forum which meets each year to exchange knowledge and experience between tram professionals across Europe.

He is an Individual Member of UKTram, and helped compile the industry response to the 2016 Croydon tram accident recommendations. He is a member of LRTA Council, Campaigns and Publications Groups.

Before he joined the CPT he worked at the Transport Research Laboratory as a research scientist on a variety of projects, mostly in the field of public transport.

Mike Willsher BSc DipLib

Before he retired Mike was a professional librarian with no formal connection with the transport industry but with a lifelong interest in transport which developed into a specific interest in tramways and light rail.

Mike joined the Light Railway Transport League, as it then was, in 1964 and in 1975 took over the post of Librarian, a position he still holds today. In the same year he also became Home Features Editor of Modern Tramway, a post he held until 1982.

During the 1990s Mike took on the job of distributing press cuttings to the LRTA Development Group, an activity that became redundant with the coming of email, but from 2010 he has been secretary to the External Relations Group (now the Campaigns Group). During recent years he has also assisted the Secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group (APPLRG) as record taker.

From 1975 Mike attended Council meetings as Librarian on an ad hoc basis but from 1990 and in subsequent years was co-opted to Council. In 2020 he was appointed a full Council member to fill a vacancy, which position was confirmed by election at the 2020 AGM.

Mark Shelford MA, BSc(Hons), MCGI

Mark spent 32 years serving as soldier all round the world specialising in training and simulation.  Post service life he sent up a company operating mainly in the middle east before being elected into local government within Bath and North East Somerset.  He took on the role of deputy leader and cabinet member for transport and highways.  He currently holds the position of deputy chair of Bath Area Trams association and a director of the LRTA.