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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.




45: Lunch with Leon episode 45 - Chris Cheek

Studying the data Chris Cheek has spent a large part of his life providing a great service for the bus industry, by analysing companies’ financial performance, and publishing the results. Now, the new second edition of his landmark work Understanding Buses, brings the picture up to date with a clear, non-technical, jargon-free explanation of how the bus industry works. With a few notable exceptions, he concludes, the industry doesn’t make enough money to cover its costs,...


44: Lunch with Leon episode 44 - Dr Matthew Niblett and Kris Beuret OBE

What is the importance for humanity for its ability to travel? With contributions from many people and casting a totally refreshing view on people’s deep-seated desire to travel, is a new book – Why Travel? – edited by Dr Matthew Niblett and Kris Beuret OBE, of the Independent Transport Commission. Leon Daniels OBE chats to them about editing the book, which has contributions from many people, not just in travel businesses, but beyond. In essence, it’s an anthology of travel...


43: Lunch with Leon episode 43 - Paul Sainthouse

It’s a return visit by Paul Sainthouse, Past President of CILT and MD Dawsonrentals Bus & Coach, a year after he appeared in the launch edition of Lunch with Leon. Chatting with Leon Daniels OBE over lunch, they discuss the state of the market, why it’s cheaper not to operate coaches in the winter, what Paul learned when he visited ITT Hub 2021, and an important Chinese saying about the future…


42: Lunch with Leon episode 42 - Garrett Emmerson

Pulling together for a common cause Leon Daniels OBE has worked alongside many people in his transport career, and when he was MD Surface Transport at TfL one of his ‘right-hand’ people was Chief Operating Officer: Garrett Emmerson. At the end of May 2017 Garrett became CEO of the London Ambulance Service (LAS) after it was put into ‘special measures’ by the Care Quality Commission (not due to the quality of care but its organisation) with a brief to turn it around. Just four...


41: Lunch with Leon episode 41 - Claire Haigh

It’s great to be back! Having just returned from ITT Hub 2021 – where it was “so great to get back out there and meet real people and talk about the major issues of the day,” Leon Daniels OBE catches up with Claire Haigh, from the Greener Transport Council. A champion for greener journeys for a long time, they chat about the ‘terrible price’ that the EV revolution could lead to and the types of change we really need. Are the government incentives too strong, they wonder, and...


40: Lunch with Leon episode 40 - Gareth Rogers

The world loves to meet… Gareth Rogers, CEO of Farnborough International – home of the famous biennial international air show – talks about events, exhibiting and why ITT Hub is such a good fit with the Hampshire-based business. “Humans like to meet, so I sense we will supplement our face-to-face meetings with Zoom and Teams; I don’t see people not travelling,” he says about the post-Covid recovery of business. People are ‘bursting to get out’ comments Leon, and Gareth...


39: Lunch with Leon episode 39 - Nigel Harris

The long-awaited Williams-Shapps rail review has been published by the Transport Secretary. While its headlines are a new public body – Great British Railways – providing single national leadership, better integration, simpler fares and smarter ticketing, there’s much detail. To get to grips with the detail, Leon Daniels OBE talks through the plan with leading rail commentator Nigel Harris, editor of RAIL magazine.


38: Lunch with Leon episode 38 - Philip Gerhardt

A prolific writer of articles and visible on social media, Philip Gerhardt is this week’s dining companion on ‘Lunch with Leon’. Currently General Manager - Route Performance at Arriva London, Philip is ‘destined for great things’ says Leon Daniels, who charts Philip’s rise through the industry since joining as a trainee 12 years ago. In a conversation that the “younger generation would do well to hear,” reckons Leon, they chat about the transformation of the transport industry and...


37: Lunch with Leon episode 37 - Prof. John Miles

“Make it as clean and simple as possible.” That’s the guiding principles that Prof John Miles Director of Research in Transitional Energy Strategies at the University of Cambridge, reckons we should focus on for transport. He’s no ‘boffin’ either, but also gets his hands dirty in the real world working with global consultants, Arup, and has first-hand knowledge of many types of transport schemes. He tells Leon Daniels what’s wrong with Milton Keynes, and talks about the...


36: Lunch with Leon episode 36 - Andrew Braddock

The Great Persuader “It’s about kicking down doors and taking people to see things,” says Andrew Braddock, about how to change the views and perceptions of those in charge, over lunch with Leon Daniels OBE. Andrew – a public transport pioneer, who had a long and distinguished career with the National Bus Company and then Transport for London - chats with Leon about what we could do to change transport for the better. He knows all about making change happen as when working in London...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...