Richard Burningham MBE

Chair

Richard has managed Britain’s first rail partnership, the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, based at the University of Plymouth, since 1998. He and the Partnership have always been great enthusiasts for the Community Rail Network and particularly its role as a vehicle to encourage and help CRP officers across the country to share ideas and experiences.

His ethos has always been to encourage everyone who wants to get involved with the railway and he strongly supports encouraging more station friends’ groups and CRPs and the Community Rail Network working to help them achieve what they want to at their local station as far as is possible.

Richard was awarded the MBE for services to the rail industry in the South West in the 2010 New Year’s Honours.  He is a Brentford FC season ticket holder and has supported the Bees for more than 35 years.

Jeremy Whitaker

Vice chair

Jeremy has over 25 years senior level strategic commercial experience in UK rail in train operating companies and franchise bidding and running his consultancy specialising in marketing and commercial projects, largely within the rail sector. Prior to establishing his consultancy, Jeremy was Deputy Bid Director, Head of Commercial Development and Commercial bid lead for Abellio UK.

Jeremy has been active in community rail for over 20 years and became an Honorary Member of Community Rail Network in 2005. He has presented widely on Community Rail and provided marketing input to the highly successful Interreg Project and run community rail seminars for the DfT on marketing.

Marion Atkinson

Vice chair

Marion works as a rail support officer at Merseytravel and has been involved in community rail for over ten years. She has worked in transport for over 23 years.

Marion chairs two community rail partnerships, West Lancs and Borderlands line, and chair of the award-winning Women in Community Rail, a movement which is growing and gaining traction across the country. She is also a Cabinet Member at Sefton Council with responsibility for Regeneration & Skills including supporting and delivering on business growth across the borough

Ian Dinmore

Station adoption lead

Ian is from a professional railway background who currently works within a local authority solving travel issues.

As Vice chairman of the Wherry Lines CRP he brings to the board a wealth of experience from his knowledge of the National Rail network and how today’s modern railway works. Ian has been involved in community railways since 1980 when he worked on the Tarka Line. His passions are branch lines and collecting historic railway documents.

Tim Sparrow

Tim is an independent director and company secretary on the Sussex Community Rail Partnership board. He got into the world of railways through being a trustee of the Sussex Rural Community Council and chairing its rural transport work.

His early career was in the civil service originally following training in agriculture but much longer has been spent in a wide range of industry and trade association related roles. In later life I has reverted to agriculture with a small herd of Dexter cattle which he occasionally gets back to when the very enjoyable community rail duties allow

Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain

Daisy is rail knowledge transfer manager at Knowledge Transfer Network, with a passion for transport transformation, accessibility, sustainability and inclusion. She provides innovation and funding stream support to companies within the rail sector and supply chain. Daisy is also the lead on Accessible & Inclusive Mobility (AIM), supporting & driving innovation in AIM across transport modes.

She is a volunteer and former employee of Community Rail Lancashire, where she was equality, diversity and inclusion lead, developing projects around inclusion of people with disabilities, young women, LGBT+ groups and more. Daisy is also a Northern Power Woman; Future List winner.

Neville Jephcote

Neville’s interest in Community Rail goes back to the early 2000s – whilst working for a rural charity he was involved in station adoption schemes and helped to start a new CRP.  For the past seven years as Head of Transport at Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity, he has managed three CRPs, a renovated station and four road-based community transport projects.

He has been in public transport management since 1986, positions including three Directorships, a consultancy, and within local authorities. Having started and developed his own bus company, growing it to 20 vehicles, and assisted many groups to start their own community transport operations, Neville has a heart, not specifically for the transport provision itself, but rather for the difference that particularly rural and specialised transport can make to the lives of individuals

Neil Matthewman

Neil is delighted to have been appointed to the board of the Community Rail Network, and is looking forward to making a positive contribution both to the board and the organisation.

During his career, Neil has worked at a senior level in the National Health Service and the Third Sector for over thirty years in various roles and settings, gaining experience in strategic planning, organisational development, governance, risk management and finance.

Neil has always been passionate about improving outcomes for people, and supporting community sustainability. During his career, he has worked with and served on, various boards, and representative organisations; and has also gained significant experience of successful partnership working and partnership development.

Neil was born in Doncaster, and has a long standing personal interest in railways and an appreciation of their importance to local communities. Outside board commitments, Neil enjoys family time, gardening, watching cricket, travel, transport and industrial heritage.

Lisa Denison

Lisa joined the Heart of Wales Development Company in June 2019 and brings a Welsh perspective to the Community Rail Network board. Her career has for the most-part been in community investment, community-led housing and regeneration, working as a Director for a large housing association and having involvement in UK-wide networks to promote and develop social enterprise activity, employment projects, social impact measurement and support for local communities.

Lisa has been instrumental in delivering community impact projects such as the Heart of Wales ‘Community Resilience Fund’ and developing the line’s approach to working in communities with a range of partners and groups.

Roy Chapman

A member of Friends of Heaton Chapel Station in Greater Manchester, Roy’s railway career was built in railway operations and management, embracing light rail and consultancy, Roy has also worked with the Department for Transport, train and tram operators on franchise development, safety, strategic planning, project management, financial assessments, train service innovations, customer service improvements, stakeholder relations and community rail.

Roy is a ‘people person’, always seeking to proactively leading teams, motivating, developing and supporting individuals, and is looking forward to using this knowledge and experience to contribute to Community Rail and to serving the diverse CRPs and station friends groups that make up community rail.

Julia Singleton-Tasker

As the line officer for the Heart of England CRP, Julia joined the world of community rail in January 2020 having come from a background of Primary school teaching and personal training. She is also Secretary for the Women in Community Rail South Group.

Julia is passionate about the community rail movement and bringing the railway to the community, which has been demonstrated with a number of projects, including the ‘Coventry Acts of Kindness project’, engaging with rail users apprehensive about rail travel during the recent pandemic.

Garfield Southall

The current chair of the North Cheshire CRP, Garfield  was previously executive dean of science and engineering at the University of Chester. He has over 30 years experience of chairing committees at all levels. Garfield is also chair of a central board of the British Computer Society, and sits on a number of their committees.

Locally, Garfield works with a number of societies and has recently become treasurer of the Ellesmere Port Family and Local History Society. He is a keen observer of all matters rail, and founded the North Cheshire Community Rail Partnership in 2016.