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Lunch with Leon

Business & Economics Podcasts

Hosted by Leon Daniels O.B.E, Lunch with Leon features interviews with leading figures in the transport industry.

Hosted by Leon Daniels O.B.E, Lunch with Leon features interviews with leading figures in the transport industry.


United Kingdom


Hosted by Leon Daniels O.B.E, Lunch with Leon features interviews with leading figures in the transport industry.




35: Lunch with Leon episode 35 - Anna Whitty MBE

Anna Whitty MBE is the Chief Executive of Ealing Community Transport (ECT), which provides safe, accessible and affordable community transport to people unable to use mainstream transport due to mobility or other difficulties, or because ordinary public transport is unavailable in their area. Formed in 1979, it now offers its services across not just its West London namesake borough, but also in Cheshire, and Dorset. Anna tells Leon how community transport serves people who ‘fall...


34: Lunch with Leon episode 34 - Rav Babbra and Chess Stetson

Doing amazing things for autonomous vehicles… In a trans-Atlantic lunch – with one guest in California and the other in the UK – Leon Daniels meets with dRISK. Chatting with CEO Chess Stetson in California and Business Development/Programme Manager Rav Babbra in the UK, they talk about their work with the government-owned Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C-CAV). We hear how they have been tasked by the UK government, through the C-CAVS to build the ‘ultimate driving...


33: Lunch with Leon episode 33 - SPECIAL - Thomas Ableman

Everyone’s take on the National Bus Strategy is different, but who better to comment on it than Thomas Ableman. With a career in bus, rail and now the founder and CEO of Snap Travel Technology – a virtual coach company which has run 25m passenger miles without any coaches or drivers – he sees all sides of the issues, especially on ticketing integration and local politics. He also runs the The Freewheeling Podcas‪t‬ which aims to be a platform for fresh voices and unconventional thinkers....


32: Lunch with Leon episode 32 - SPECIAL - Sara Sloman

The many questions about how we reach net-zero In a special edition, Leon Daniels swaps notes with Sara Sloman, who hosts sister-ITT Hub podcast Talking Net Zero. In a wide-ranging, engaging and lively chat we discover Sara’s ‘all-time gripe’ about ‘all-things-green and sustainable’, but they start by talking about a bottle of wine, before moving onto the controversial residents’ parking scheme in Bristol. Designed to encourage people out of their cars, rather than driving to within...


31: Lunch with Leon episode 31 - Roger Davies

With a starter about rail, main course about commuter travel and dessert on the bus industry, this week’s Lunch with Leon sees him talking with career busman, author and controversial straight-talking commentator Roger Davies. Roger sets out why transport needs ‘clean fixes now – not projects that give proclaimed benefits in the 2030s and beyond’. He argues: “We should be concentrating on what needs to be done now, rather than grandiose schemes that deliver way into the future, if at...


30: Lunch with Leon episode 30 - Laura Shoaf

“Public transport is social justice. There’s never a better time to remind us nationally why we’re doing what we’re doing,” says Laura Shoaf, MD of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and newly-appointed Chair of the Urban Transport Group. A planner by background, Laura has extraordinary energy and is a huge force for good for public transport internationally, as well as in the UK. Talking with Leon Daniels over lunch she explores what the future holds: “Every crisis has an opportunity....


29: Lunch with Leon episode 29 - Sue Percy

Highways for all: From careers to automated vehicles. Sue Percy, CEO of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) for past nine years, has long been Leon Daniels’ ‘go to’ person for a “sensible view on the whole highways and transportation business” and she’s also a key person for driving forward education and qualifications in this sector. Adds Leon: “She never lets me forget that our highways and transportation industry is about people.” Over lunch they chat...


28: Lunch with Leon episode 28 - Steve Gooding

The big questions about transport use and where to go from here. This week, Leon Daniels OBE has lunch with Steve Gooding, formerly Director General at the Department for Transport and now Director of the RAC Foundation, where he is a noted spokesman on roads and transport policy. This year he becomes President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and talks about how it is working to develop professionalism in the sector. “There’s never been a time when the...


27: Lunch with Leon episode 27 - Paul Seller

Ricardo has a long history of developing diesel drivelines, stemming from its key involvement in the First World War to reduce exhaust emissions (yes, really) that eventually earned founder Harry Ricardo a knighthood. Today, the British company has a global presence across a range of market sectors – including cars, commercial vehicles, rail, defence, motorsport, energy and environment – with a client list that includes transport operators, manufacturers, energy companies, financial...


26: Lunch with Leon episode 26 - Gali Bloch Liran

Challenging the ‘old way’ to get the most out of yourself and your team. Over a long lunch, Leon Daniels OBE chats with Gali Bloch Liran who is an executive coach specialising in start-ups, as well as being a lawyer, marketeer, lecturer and global speaker. She works with CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs to manage the day-to-day challenges and strengthen the mental resilience required to scale such a venture, using her own super-powers: energy, positivity and inner strong-belief. We...


25: Lunch with Leon episode 25 - Christmas special

All the enjoyable bits, plus some garnish… Our regular podcast about all things transport-related has a different twist this week with a Christmas and New Year special. If you’ve not listened before, then give this one a try! Over the past 24 episodes, Leon Daniels has chatted with an amazing range of people and he’s filleted just a small handful of the very best, and funniest, bits. He also reports live from the recent GITEX technology exhibition in Dubai, UAE, which proves that...


24: Lunch with Leon episode 24 - Elizabeth de Jong

Leon Daniels’ lunchtime guest is Elizabeth de Jong from Logistics UK. Their starter sees them mull over working-from-home and its benefits, before they move onto the main course where they chat about the changes in logistics and deliveries this year. They debate why the government should regard freight and logistics as part of the country’s critical infrastructure and how to get more talent into the industry. Elizabeth maps out what to do and why it’s backed by a strong business...


23: Lunch with Leon episode 23 - Graeme Cooper

Tools in the toolbox – how many do we need? Graeme Cooper is Project Director / Transport Decarbonisation at National Grid and, fresh from his appearance on Top Gear, he chats with Leon Daniels about how, in the last week, all the decarbonisation jigsaw bits are finally coming together. Graeme talks with an easy engaging energy and passion, presenting serious thought leadership in an easy-to-digest form and explains his mantra “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” He unpicks...


22: Lunch with Leon episode 22 - James Haluch

Stripping off on the roads? The Naked Highway. If you’ve not come across the expression, then the Naked Highway is not what you might think... Chatting over lunch with Leon Daniels OBE is James Haluch Managing Director – Highways and Waste Collections, at Amey and they get to grips with what our roads should look like in the future – and the Naked Highway is part of this. They start by talking about what the Highways Sector Council, launched in 2019, is currently doing. Together, they...


21: Lunch with Leon episode 21 - Steve Norris

With a long and illustrious career in business and transport, Steve Norris is best-known as Minister for Transport in London (1992-7) “the toughest job I ever did.” No-nonsense and straight-talking, he ran for Mayor of London in 2000 and 2004, but lost on both occasions to Ken Livingstone who, he tells Leon Daniels, was “the best Mayor by a country mile.” There are terrific anecdotes about London Buses, leading into the real reasons we don’t have conductors anymore and the incentives...


20: Lunch with Leon episode 20 - Guillaume Fleuti

As we navigate through uncharted territory, Leon Daniels catches up with Guillaume Fleuti - MD and Head, Infrastructure, Transport and Manufacturing and Europe at Lloyds Bank – to chat about everything from the move to zero emission stimulus, “good for business and good for the UK,” to the key role that banks are bringing to the economy at the moment. They mull over whether the ‘bundling together’ of finance for charging infrastructure, energy and vehicles, will be a model for the...


19: Lunch with Leon episode 19 - Emma Hignett

She’s the busiest person on the transport network, giving information to 6.5m people every day; but it’s her voice, rather than her face that is best known. The ‘voice’ of London Buses, Emma Hignett, chats with Leon Daniels over lunch about her work as a voice-over and how the Lancastrian’s voice is upmarket but utterly approachable. She talks about how she changed career from being a ballet dancer and the ‘rigorous’ selection process that Transport for London used in its quest for...


18: Lunch with Leon episode 18 - Greg Harris

Greg Harris is right at front end of the latest developments on the road to net-zero. As Global Electrification Services Leader at HORIBA MIRA, his role includes developing strategy around electrification. Best known as the UK industry’s first vehicle test track - called the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) opened in 1949 on a former airfield in Leicestershire - Greg chats over lunch with Leon Daniels about its development into a private company, now owned by HORIBA, and how...


17: Lunch with Leon episode 17 - Matt Ginsberg

Matt Ginsberg, author, teacher and entrepreneur once tried to sell to London intelligent traffic lights to speed up the traffic. At Transport for London, MD Leon Daniels surprised him by declining since that was the opposite of what was wanted. A specialist in AI (artificial intelligence) since 1983, Matt chats with Leon about why we travel too much, but why some things will have to remain face-to-face. Over a long lunch they cover a massive range of topics, from body language on...


16: Lunch with Leon episode 16 - Lucy Yu

Lucy Yu is the Director of Public Policy at Voi Scooters. With eScooters increasingly popular around the world, Leon Daniels chats about the Swedish company’s trials in the UK, one of 11 European countries it serves. They chew over the apparent lack of regulation and Leon discovers that while illegal on UK roads, a trial with the DfT means that a number of UK cities - but not, so far, London - are seeing the eScooters on the streets. With on-street rental, using an app with an unlock...