London TravelWatch has a Chair and four members. They are appointed by the London Assembly. This page contains biographies written by each board member personally. We also have a listing of members’ declarations of interest and their attendance to our board meetings.
Arthur Leathley – Chair
I have senior level experience as a communications director in the private sector and Whitehall.
I spent nine years at Virgin Trains, during a time of great change in which customer satisfaction became the best in the rail industry. I have also worked in the Cabinet Office and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, as well as working at a senior level for Amey Group.
Prior to my career in communications, I worked as a political, City and transport journalist at The Times, covering many of the key debates affecting London transport.
In April 2018 I was appointed as non-executive Chair of Network Rail’s Anglia Route Supervisory Board, with contract duration until April 2020.
Alan Benson – Deputy Chair
I’m a disability campaigner and activist with a particular interest in transport. As well as being a member of London TravelWatch, I’m Chair of Transport for All, a Trustee of Richmond RUILS and a Citizen Advocate supporting Disabled and Older People. I’m a regular tweeter and blog about my journeys when time allows.
Before turning to campaigning I was an I.T. Manager at various colleges and universities across the country for over 20 years. I hold two degrees in Economics and live in West London.
I have had a very varied career, in social work, education, politics and most recently in the charity sector. Among other roles I have been Chief Executive of the RSPCA, Action on Hearing Loss and Alcohol Concern and I was the Member of Parliament for Taunton from 1997-2001. I am now semi retired and am on the board of Newlon Housing Association, I chair the Outward Housing charity and am on the board of Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group. The golden thread running through my work and life is a commitment to high quality, affordable and responsive public services.
I have lived in London for 20 years and for the last 11 have not had a car, so I am dependant on public transport for work and leisure. I have poor eyesight and dodgy knees so am particularly focussed on the needs of less agile and less confident transport users. The ability to get around our great city should be equally available to us all and I hope to be another strong voice on the board on behalf of transport users.
I had leadership roles in corporate responsibility/sustainability for global companies including Vodafone and Thomson Reuters and now have a portfolio of roles advocating for customers including the Waterways Ombudsman. As an independent member of the water forum at Severn Trent and Chair of the group I challenge the company on its business plans and advocate for the interests for vulnerable consumers.
I am a founder Trustee for MCS, a charity promoting low carbon and renewable technologies and represent the charity on the commercial trading company which develops standards for the industry.
I was also an independent member of the sustainability panel at HS2 providing external scrutiny and challenge, acting as critical friend for their sustainability operations, promoting pragmatic solutions.
I am a Corporate Affairs specialist, working with businesses to drive change, communicate what they stand for and shape their reputation.
I am currently Communications and Campaigns Director at London First, a business group which campaigns to make London the best place in the world to do business. Of course, its transport system and infrastructure are a huge part of that.
Prior to that, I was Communications Director at Which?, campaigning for change across consumer markets, from energy through to rail. I was also the organisation’s first head of Corporate Affairs, working directly with businesses to tackle poor practice, propose and test alternatives and drive real business change.
I started my career as a public affairs consultant, before moving into the civil service, where I worked on the creation of the Competition and Markets Authority. I briefly returned to consultancy, working for a fibre infrastructure provider on its campaign to challenge false advertising in the broadband sector.
I live in Edenbridge and work near Goodge Street, so I am a frequent user of the tube, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Sevenoaks, Oxted, East Croydon and Edenbridge Town stations.