TfL appoints Ryan to head its new comms directorate

Transport for London (TfL) has turned to a former director of communications at defence firm BAE Systems to head its revamped PR operation.

The body has announced that Locksley Ryan, currently head of Edelman’s European corporate practice, is to join in October as managing director, group communications.

This role has been created to head a newly centralised PR structure, which formed the first communications directorate at the body.

Previously, each of the directorates of surface, rail, corporate and finance, and planning had their own PR staff, reporting to their respective managing directors.

Ryan, who has held senior communications roles at TSB Group and financial PR firm Brunswick, as well as BAE, will oversee the work of 57 comms staff, covering issues ranging from congestion charging to management of the London Underground.

He also has a direct reporting line to transport commissioner Bob Kiley.

Ryan said: ‘The first step is to understand the business, the second step is to develop the appropriate strategy.’

TfL head of group media relations Dean Fell said the changes were designed to reflect the importance of comms to TfL, following the merger with London Underground.

He added that while the transport body had no firm campaigning plans for the coming months, it would be lobbying central government for further investment in London’s transport infrastructure.

‘The fact is London pays more in taxes than it receives, and we need to see that reflected in the investment in the city’s transport,’ said Fell.

Ryan said he had no plans to review TfL’s external PR advisers, and that he didn’t have a view on TfL’s relationship with the key media, the Evening Standard, which has often been critical of Mayor Ken Livingstone and his transport policy.

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