Sir John Peace chairs Midlands Connect and the Midlands Engine. He has a long and distinguished business career at the highest levels covering the technology, financial services and retail sectors. He is a Founder, former Chairman and Chief Executive of Experian plc, former Chief Executive of GUS Plc, former Chairman of Standard Chartered plc and until July 2018 was Chairman of Burberry plc. He was knighted in 2011 for services to the business and voluntary sector, and has been Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire since 2012.
Maria Machancoses, Director
Maria has been instrumental in the success and development of Midlands Connect since helping to set up the partnership in 2014. Maria has also worked as Director of the Midlands Engine and managed the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority’s input into the HS2 Hybrid Bill. Originally from Valencia in Spain, Maria has worked in the UK for more than 20 years.
Simon Statham, Director of Technical Programmes
Simon oversees and manages the evidence base which underpins the development of Midlands Connect’s priority road, rail and technology programmes. Simon spent 17 years as a transport planner in the consultancy sector before joining Midlands Connect in 2016.
David Blackadder-Weinstein, Head of Communications and Public Relations
David joined Midlands Connect from HS2 Ltd in 2018, where he was a senior content strategist. He oversees and manages Midlands Connect’s internal and external communications strategies.
Sarah Spink, Stakeholder Management Lead
Sarah develops and manages relationships with key stakeholders, including local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, chambers of commerce, airports, national delivery bodies Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and Highways England and the Department for Transport.
Andrew Pritchard, Strategy / Policy Advisor
Alongside his role as Director of Policy and Infrastructure at East Midlands Councils, Andrew provides strategic advice on Midlands Connect’s policy direction and approach to our long term role as a Sub-national Transport Body.
Billy Roden, Strategic Policy Lead
Billy leads Midlands Connect’s early strategy development to ensure the Midlands embraces all opportunities to support the future of transport in our region, bringing together businesses, academia and wider stakeholders. He previously spent 5 years in central government.
Moreblessing Barker, Head of Roads & Freight
Moreblessing heads up our roads programme. She was previously Head of Civil Engineering at the Forestry Commission and has held various management positions at Highways England.
Stephen Pauling, Interim Head of Rail and HS2
Stephen leads our overall strategic rail programme. He has extensive experience of developing rail projects to drive progress, and engage with our partners and stakeholders, to deliver transformational enhancements to the rail network of the Midlands that are focused on unlocking economic growth.
Bharat Pathania, Technical Innovation Lead
Bharat leads on Midlands Connect’s Smart Ticketing strategy, working with local authorities, transport operators and the Department for Transport on a vision to roll out Account Based Ticketing solutions across the region.
Rachel Martin, Governance & Programme Management Lead
Rachel provides assurance to the programme and manages our relationship with the Department for Transport Sponsorship Team, along with ensuring that our governance is efficient and effective in both its structure and performance.