HomePeopleAnthony Smith to take over as chair of Independent Rail Retailers

Anthony Smith to take over as chair of Independent Rail Retailers

Anthony Smith is to become the new chair of Independent Rail Retailers (IRR) when he steps down from his role as chief executive at Transport Focus later this month.

Mr Smith has been the voice of Britain’s transport users for almost 25 years, having been chief executive of Transport Focus and its predecessor bodies since 1999. Under his leadership, the organisation has gained a strong reputation for evidence-based campaigning and research to influence decisions and get the best deal for passengers.

Established in 2017, the IRR is the membership and lobbying group representing Britain’s independent ticket retailers, together responsible for over £4 billion in ticket sales each year.

For the past seven years, the Chairmanship has been held by Alistair Lees, managing director of Assertis. During this time, independent retailers have been the driving force behind a number of customer innovations, including the development of e-ticketing, the funding of barcode scanners across the rail network and the introduction of split ticketing, which uses sophisticated algorithms to identify the cheapest combination of tickets for a passenger’s journey.

Commenting on Anthony Smith’s appointment, Alistair Lees said, “It’s been a privilege to represent retailers, both large and small, and see them thrive, innovate and grow the market, despite the challenges of Covid. I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved so far, and look forward to working with Anthony to further raise the profile of independent retailers and the central role that they play as low cost, low risk rail growth partners.”

“Anthony is a hugely respected figure within the rail industry who will ensure the customer continues to be at the heart of our decision making, whilst helping to create a level playing field through engagement with the wider rail industry and government.”

Image credit: Independent Rail Retailers

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