Neil Scales is quitting his job as chief executive of Merseytravel and heading for Australia and a new career as ceo of TransLink, the public transport authority in Brisbane, Queensland.
Mr Scales has spent 15 years at Merseytravel and takes up his new post in March.
‘It was a hard decision to make and one I spent some considerable time agonising over but I have received an offer which was too difficult to refuse,’ says Neil.
‘For me this is a challenge to make a real difference on the other side of the world and an opportunity of a once-in-a lifetime experience ‘down under.’
In a message to staff he said, ‘There is much I will miss, in particular the tremendous support I have received from you all during my time here. I truly thank you for your loyalty and hard work and wish you all every success in the future.’
Born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1956 Neil Scales studied at Southmoor Technical School and played rugby for Durham Schools. Leaving school at 16 he took an engineering apprenticeship with Sunderland Corporation Transport.
He continued his studies at Sunderland Polytechnic, eventually gaining an MSc in Control Engineering and Computing Systems and an MBA at the Open University.
He even became a part-time associate lecturer with the Open University and is proud of a pass-rate of over 90 percent for his students.
Before joining Merseytravel Neil was an independent transport and engineering consultant working for the World Bank on projects across Europe.
After his apprenticeship, he first worked for Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive before becoming Director of Engineering and Purchasing at Greater Manchester Buses, and then Managing Director of Northern Counties Ltd in 1990.
In 1997, he was appointed Director of Customer Services, Merseytravel, two years later becoming the Chief Executive and Director General.
He is credited with completely reversing the fortunes of Merseytravel which is now recognised as one of the best transport authorities in Britain. Merseyrail is one of the best performing rail networks in Britain.