Our team

We may be a small team of five, but we’re also mighty. Together, we’re dedicated to delivering our regional transport priorities for a more connected West – for everyone.

James White, Technical Lead

Seconded across to the Western Gateway in 2021, I am the Technical Lead for the Western Gateway. I lead the team and work on region-wide transport policies and interventions including our Strategic Transport Plan, rail and freight. I am a transport planner with over 30 years of experience across a range of local authorities, from central London to York and the East Riding of Yorkshire and back south via Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, the West of England Partnership, West of England LEP, West of England Combined Authority and most recently to the Western Gateway Sub-national Transport Body.

As a Director of TravelWatch SouthWest and the Severnside Community Rail Partnership and as a regular train user, I am committed to promoting public transport across our region.

James White

Hannah Fountain, Senior Transport Planner

I have been Western Gateway’s Senior Transport Officer since the summer of ‘23, having become a transport officer accidentally in 2007. I’ve previously worked at Cotswold District Council, Somerset County Council and Sustrans, so now I only need to work in national government to call a full house in Organisational Bingo. While I work across the full range of transport modes at Western Gateway, my background and interests are in sustainability and environmental protection, so I’m much less grumpy when working on active travel, public transport and decarbonisation strategies. Outside of work, I like to go on adventures with my two excellent children, ideally involving maps, bicycles, pubs, cream teas and either tents or (hypocritically) our campervan.

Hattie James, Transport Officer

I joined Western Gateway in March 2024 as a Transport Officer. In this role, I deliver on a range of projects, including the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, Decarbonisation playbook and Coach Strategy, while supporting the region to adapt and make use of new and innovative transport ideas. I am also helping to achieve the regional transport aims set out in the new Strategic Transport Plan. After gaining my MSc from the University of Aberdeen in Transport and Intelligent Mobility, I went on to work for Aberdeenshire Council and more recently as a Project Officer at the South East Scotland Regional Transport Partnership (SEStran).

Mena Abidakun, Project Manager

I joined Western Gateway in October 2023 as a Project Manager. I manage the development and delivery of strategic projects, while also working collaboratively with colleagues across all of our workstreams and with partner Local Authorities throughout the region. Before joining the team, I worked for the NHS and briefly at the Forestry Commission, focusing on various aspects of project and programme management, Having recently gained an MSc in Public Health, I’m interested in exploring more about transport as it affects health directly and indirectly, through its relationship with the wider determinants of health and its influence that occurs through active travel. When I’m not working, I enjoy going to watch my kids play sports or play sports myself.

Jessica Holroyd, Project Officer

I joined Western Gateway in January 2024 as a Project Support Officer. I’m responsible for helping maintain the smooth operation of the organisation with admin, events and marketing support. I have a keen interest in mental health and I’m also studying to be a therapist. I’m particularly interested in how transport can help improve connectivity and reduce isolation for people living in rural communities. My favourite way to travel is by train, as I love being able to soak up the region’s beautiful scenery.

Our Board

Our Board sets our direction of travel and makes key decisions for the STB.

Our Board is made up of councillor members – one from each of our authorities, as well as representatives from public and private sectors including the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Highways England. The Board meets quarterly.

Our councillors are:

Cllr Manda Rigby

Bath and North East Somerset

Cllr Donald Alexander

Bristol City Council

Cllr Vikki Slade

Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council

Cllr David Gray

Gloucestershire County Council

Cllr Hannah Young

North Somerset Council

Cllr Chris Willmore

South Gloucestershire Council

Cllr Tamara Reay

Wiltshire Council

Our partners

Board meetings and minutes

Keen to hear what’s happening? Check out our meeting agendas, watch the meetings live or get the details at a later date and read the minutes.
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Who we work with

Achieving our vision wouldn’t be possible without the support of our nine local authorities and key stakeholders. Find out how we work together.
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Forums and groups

We meet weekly and monthly with Transport Officers across our nine local authorities, as well as public and private representatives from many organisations to help us achieve our vision.
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Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you