Steve Griffiths named as LU new Chief Operating Officer

13 February 2015

London Underground (LU) has today named Steve Griffiths as its new Chief Operating Officer. He will join the organisation in May, assuming accountability for LU operations and maintenance, reporting to Mike Brown MVO, the Managing Director.

After starting his career with Rolls-Royce plc, where he completed his apprenticeship and obtained an engineering degree, Steve went on to become a senior engineer in the Product Support & Engineering division before leaving to join Virgin Atlantic. As Director of Engineering for Virgin Atlantic he was responsible for all aspects of aircraft engineering and maintenance. He was appointed as the long-haul airline's Chief Operating Officer in 2009, responsible for engineering, operations, airports, cabin crew, product and Cargo.

Steve joins a London Underground that is now recognised as among the fastest improving metros in the world. Sustained investment in modernising the network, as well as a rigorous focus on reliability, has seen reliability levels soar in recent years. The network's reliability, staff and customer safety are all above average and journey times are now at their lowest ever level, down 13% since 2002/03.

Mike Brown, Managing Director, London Underground & London Rail, said:

`Steve Griffiths will be taking up the role of Chief Operating Officer at London Underground from the beginning of May. Steve comes to us from Virgin Atlantic Airways, where he led significant changes to transform the company and improve the service to passengers.

`He will play a key role as we continue to modernise the way we serve our customers and improve the Underground to meet the demands of the city's rapidly growing population.

`Nick Brown, who's done a great job as interim Chief Operating Officer since joining us in December, will stay until June to ensure continuity and will remain fully accountable for LU Operations and Maintenance until Steve takes the helm.'

London's population is set to grow from 8.6m today to around 10m by 2030 - that's an extra Tube train full of people every three days - so it is essential to maintain investment in increasing services and transport infrastructure to meet this increasing demand.

To support this, LU is carrying out a huge programme of modernisation, with major stations, trains, track and signalling being updated or replaced to provide more capacity for a growing city. The line upgrades are at the core of LU's investment programme, which will deliver more than 30% increase in capacity.

Redevelopment work to increase capacity at key stations and make them step-free is underway at a number of stations including Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street. More than half of LU's 270 stations have now been modernised or refurbished to make them brighter and easier to use, with improvements such as tactile strips, better CCTV and help points, electronic information displays in ticket halls and on platforms and improved seating and lighting.

New air-conditioned walk-through trains are being introduced on 40% of the Tube network. The Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines currently have these trains in service and they are currently being introduced on to the District line, where more trains will be delivered during 2015.

Staffing at LU stations is also being modernised, with more staff than ever before being deployed to the public areas of stations where they can help customers most effectively - in ticket halls, on gate lines and on platforms. Contactless Payment on the Underground is now bringing customers even greater convenience - meaning there is now no need to queue to pay for travel - and customers are now benefitting from WiFi access across the network.