Oxfam’s Mylrea named group media boss at TfL

Transport for London (TfL) has hired Oxfam head of media Paul Mylrea to be its head of group media as it gears up to promote its proposed extension of the congestion charge across west London.

The appointment follows the resignation in quick succession last month of both TfL PR chief Locksley Ryan and head of group media Dean Fell, who Mylrea will replace.

TfL has not yet made a decision about when it will permanently replace Ryan, who is understood to have quit following a breakdown of relations with transport commissioner Bob Kiley nine months after taking the job (PRWeek, 7 July).

But Mylrea said that Kiley was ‘inspiring’ and ‘a key factor’ in his decision to take the job.

He is tasked with promoting the transport element of the capital’s 2012 Olympic bid, and will be in charge of media relations for the expansion of the East London line and TfL’s transit scheme, which includes extensions to the Docklands Light Railway.

Other challenges include promoting the controversial extension to the congestion charge and TfL’s increased powers over the co-ordination of trains in the capital.

He will also have co-responsibility for the appointment of external PR support, along with Ryan’s interim replacement, MD of group comms Luke Blair. TfL currently does not retain any PR agencies.

Mylrea, who reports to Blair, will lead a team of 25 and takes up the post on 20 September.

A journalist for 24 years, he was a section editor at Reuters before joining Oxfam as head of media in 2002.

His said a key element of his strategy in his new role will be to emphasise the recent successes of TfL, such as the improvement of bus services and the four per cent shift of people using public transport instead of cars.

He currently runs Safer to School, a charity which aims to improve children’s transport to school, and is a pro-cycling campaigner.

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