UK train operator Connex Rail has appointed Peter Kendall as its
first communications director.
Kendall, who until 1996 held the top PR job at Eurostar, assumes
responsibility for UK communications for the company and its two rail
franchises Connex South Eastern and Connex South Central. He reports to
Connex Rail’s vice-chairman and chief executive Antoine Hurel.
Kendall joins Connex from marketing consultancy Bowles Kendall Storer
where he was a director. He has a proven track record of dealing with
rail issues. He was director of public affairs during a five-year period
at Eurostar operator European Passenger Services. He left in 1996 when
the operation of Eurostar moved to a London and Continental Railways
Before moving to Eurostar, Kendall held various PR positions at British
Rail. ’The game has moved on since I was last involved with rail
issues,’ said Kendall.
Since it took over its rail franchises in 1996 Connex has been at the
centre of various controversies. Its routes, which connect London with
Kent and Sussex, have attracted negative publicity for widespread train
cancellations and last summer it was forced to cancel trains when
drivers took industrial action.
Both Connex Rail franchises have existing communications teams which
Kendall will oversee.
’Part of my role is to work with and develop existing teams,’ said
Agencies retained by Connex include Biss Lancaster and Citigate
Westminster for public affairs.
Senior communications staff at Connex include Tracy Dryden-Jones,
corporate relations manager of Connex South Eastern, Dave Ewert, media
relations manager at South Eastern and South Central media relations
manager Simon Eden.
Connex is owned by French conglomerate Compagnie Generale des Eaux and
employs over 5,000 staff. It provides 17 per cent of passenger journeys
in the UK, carrying over 200 million passengers.