Polly Payne, Director General, Rail Group, Department for Transport

Hear from Polly Payne, Director General, Rail Group at the Department for Transport as she provides an update on the current priorities and challenges facing her team, and some of the major rail projects they oversee.

Polly job shares this role with Ruth Hannant.

Director General Rail Group

As Directors General for Rail Group, Polly and Ruth contribute to the collective leadership of the Department for Transport as Board and Executive Committee members and leaders of the Rail Group.

They have overall responsibility for:

  • developing strategy and policy for the rail sector in the context of broader government policy
  • managing the department’s overall expenditure on rail services and infrastructure
  • ensuring delivery of major projects and programmes including the:
    • £5.7 billion Intercity Express Programme
    • £7 billion Thameslink programme
    • £14.8 billion Crossrail programme (jointly with Transport for London)
  • delivering the ongoing programme of rail franchises
  • effective sponsorship of:
    • British Transport Police
    • Network Rail
    • Office of Rail and Road
    • Rail Accidents Investigation Branch
    • Transport Focus
  • Polly Payne

    Director General, Rail Group

    Department for Transport

    Polly Payne and Ruth Hannant became Directors General for Rail Group at the Department for Transport (DfT) as a job-share in December 2017. Prior to DfT Polly and Ruth have job shared for 7 years including as:

    • Directors of Higher Education Reform at the Department for Education (DfE)
    • Directors for Strategy and Growth at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)
    Polly and Ruth moved to BIS from HM Treasury where they led the Corporate Finance, Business, Innovation and Skills team. Before job-sharing with Ruth, Polly worked in HM Treasury for over a decade in a variety of economic and policy roles. Polly previously worked at the University of Sussex, in Mongolia for the Asian Development Bank, and in Zanzibar as part of the Overseas Development Institute fellowship programme.