Meet our people
We asked some of our people to describe their roles, their background, and what it's like working here.
Transport 2014 Team Leader
Anne Armstrong: I joined Transport Scotland in September 2006 to take forward a new role for the agency in emergency and contingency planning.
My main aim was to identify the risks from emergencies which could affect the transport network, and to mitigate the risks so that people can go about their business freely and with confidence. It was a job which proved to be varied and challenging.
In April 2013 I moved to a team which is dedicated towards making sure that all the major events, for example the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and the Year of Homecoming, happening across Scotland in 2014 take place successfully and without any major transport issues.
My role involves working with transport operators and providers, the various organisers of the events, and ultimately with Ministers to make sure these events are well planned from a transport perspective.
Prior to joining Transport, I’d spent six years working in the Scotland Office in both Edinburgh and Glasgow – with frequent visits to London. My duties involved providing policy advice and support to the Secretary of State for Scotland on matters which were reserved to the UK Government.
Prior to that I had worked in various departments which are now collectively known as the Department for Work & Pensions.
I can honestly say that working in Transport Scotland has proved me with a variety of challenges not really experienced in any of my previous posts and I’m looking forward to whatever the next challenge is.
Rail Engagement Manager
I have worked at Transport Scotland since 2007. I joined as part of their Civil Engineering and Transport Planning Graduate Scheme.
Through this I was given exposure across a number of different disciplines including technical analysis, stakeholder engagement and consultation, and policy development and implementation.
I have also become a member of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, and recently gained an MSc in Transport Planning and Engineering from Edinburgh Napier University. My current role is within the Transport Scotland’s Rail Directorate as Rail Engagement Manager.
This role involves engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including First ScotRail, Network Rail, and the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee on the transport planning arrangements for the Commonwealth Games. An additional role involves working on the development of Transport Scotland's resilience arrangements over the period of the Commonwealth Games.
My previous role was within the Timetable Strategy Team of Transport Scotland's Rail Directorate, focussing on the design, development, implementation, and performance of the passenger timetables within Scotland. It also required me to undertake computer simulated modelling to inform policy decisions on potential infrastructure or timetable enhancements.
This role also had a resilience element and involved advising the Minister for Transport and Veterans of any major incidents or disruption occurring on the rail network, and representing the Rail Directorate whenever the Multi Agency Response Team (MART) was activated at the Traffic Control Centre in South Queensferry.
2014 is set to be a very busy and challenging year for Transport Scotland, but I am very much looking forward to the challenge and hope to gain a great deal from the experience.
Transport Strategy Team Leader
Archie Stoddart: I head up the Transport Strategy Unit in Transport Policy Division. I am responsible for three teams covering everything from low carbon vehicles, active travel and cycling to constitutional reform.
But one of the best bits of the job is that it gives me contact with lots of people across Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government. Until you are in Transport Scotland you have little idea of the sheer range of work that we do.
I also think that this is one of the few jobs that you can have where you look out of any window and see the fruits of your labours.
My first transport related job was with British Rail, working on the tracks. In an odd twist of fate my first visit to Buchannan House was to have an eye test to become a train driver – I failed!
Probably one of the luckier breaks I’ve had, though it didn’t feel like it at the time. I went to University instead and then did a housing qualification.
I worked for Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Shelter, Energy Saving Trust and in various housing policy jobs in Government – including leading the Bill Team for the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.
So why Transport? Well I’m at a stage in my career where interesting is the biggest factor in going for a job. And it certainly is that. With constitutional reform we are seeing a process that I’ll never see again in my career. And with such a varied job, I really feel that we are making a difference for the people of Scotland.
Kerry Edwards: I am the Business Manager for the Trunk Roads and Bus Operations team in Transport Scotland. I work closely with the Director and Senior Management team on trying to make improvements across the Directorate and find better ways of working.
I take a lead in organising employee engagement work, including regular staff get togethers and arranging events and I also line manage the Director’s PA.
My role is really varied - for example in the past year I organised a Conference of European Directors of Roads event in Edinburgh, hosted a delegation of transport professionals from China visiting our new Traffic Scotland Control Centre and arranged a staff training day with attendance from the Deputy First Minister.
I have worked in the Civil Service for nearly 14 years in various departments. I started in the Benefits Agency in Liverpool and Norwich, before working at the Food Standards Agency in Aberdeen. I then moved to Glasgow for a post in Communities Scotland before joining Transport Scotland's press office ahead of being promoted to my current post.
So why Transport Scotland? It’s the variety of the work and the opportunity to learn new things and meet new people that makes Transport Scotland a good choice to anchor your career. There are also opportunities to move within the organisation and regular promotion opportunities.
Head of Technical Analysis
Alison Irvine: I joined Transport Scotland in 2008, at a point in my career where I wanted a major change and the move from consultancy to client side has been fantastic, I have what I would describe as my dream job now.
I am responsible for keeping our transport models and transport appraisal guidance up to date and relevant. I am involved in the appraisal or evaluation of all of the major projects that Transport Scotland is responsible for, and much of my work involves working with local authorities across the country helping to shape the land use and transport future of Scotland.
I graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 1990 with a degree in Civil Engineering and then spent 18 years working in the consultancy sector as a transport planner, working on a range of projects across the UK and overseas. Highlights include several trunk road improvements projects in Scotland and England, expanding major shopping centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, new town developments across the UK and toll road projects in India and The Philippines.
So why did I join Transport Scotland? I work with a great team and with some great people across the agency and we are all focused on helping each other to deliver what we do as well as we can. The job gives me a real opportunity to influence change and that is really quite exciting.
Ken Beattie: I joined Transport Scotland within the Trunk Roads Asset Management Branch and then following a restructure joined the Finance team which had responsibility for all aspects of the Agency’s financial corporate and business planning processes. My work includes the monitoring and reporting of operational spending of the Agency.
It is a varied role with many new challenges to review and explore. There is scope to put views forward and to engage in many areas within the Agency and Scottish Government. I am encouraged to make decisions which affect not only my role but others and I find that rewarding. Before joining Transport Scotland in April 2007 I worked for Clydesdale Bank.
My career spanned many aspects of banking, from Retail Branch Services to Call Centre Operations. Also, I was involved as Management Accountant in the implementation of many varied projects within the bank.
So why Transport Scotland? The Agency deals with a wide and interesting portfolio of all transport modes and I find it exciting to be involved in a major organisation which affects all of Scotland.