THE Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, has announced the appointment of six new members to the Board of Passenger Focus, the statutory passenger watchdog.

Marian Lauder and Bob Linnard will join the board from today, Isabel Liu and Paul Rowen from March 1 and Professor Paul Salveson and Dr Stuart Burgess from April 1.

The Secretary of State said: “I am confident that the high calibre of these appointees will enhance the work of Passenger Focus and that the breadth of their experience and expertise will ensure that the passengers’ voice continues to be heard loud and clear in Government and across the transport industry.”

The chairman of Passenger Focus, Colin Foxall, said: “The new board members offer a wealth of public and private sector experience, which will help us in our mission to get the best deal for passengers.

“These appointments will help ensure Passenger Focus continues to be a strong consumer organisation, useful to industry and Government, makes a difference for passengers and continues to offer value for money for the taxpayer.”

Ms Lauder is a former senior Army officer who has also recently spent three years as chairman of a sustainable transport charity.

Mr Linnard is a recently retired senior civil servant with knowledge of transport policy and people, particularly in relation to rail and local transport.

Ms Liu has a background in investment, including previous senior positions at John Laing Investment (Hong Kong) Ltd, Bank of America and Citigroup.

Mr Rowen has been an MP, local councillor and deputy headteacher. He is currently a director of the Light Rail Transit Association.

Professor Salveson is a rail professional with 35 years of experience in a range of sectors and disciplines, including at Northern Rail. He originated and developed the community rail concept and was involved in the establishment of a large number of community rail partnerships.

Dr Burgess is chairman of the Commission for Rural Communities and also been active in third world debt reduction at the highest levels.

Passenger Focus is the independent public body set up by the Government to represent the interests of rail passengers in England, Scotland and Wales, bus and tram passengers in England - outside of London - and passengers on scheduled domestic coach services in England.

Its mission is to get the best deal for passengers ensure the passenger’s voice is heard and securing improvements. It also provides an appeals service for rail passengers and promotes good practice in complaints handling.