Welcome to my website!

It should give you an idea of what I’m up to, as well as copies of recent articles and lectures.

Please look at ‘categories – current news’ to see the various pages of news and information about things I’m involved in, and for more in-depth stuff, go to ‘Pages’. My Northern Weekly Salvo is in ‘current news’: comment, news and gossip on railways, politics and culture – sometimes altogether. It appears roughly monthly (no, it isn’t ‘weekly’, that’s just its name). The occasional ‘crank question’ is strangely popular.

There’s a short biographical sketch on a separate page of this site – ‘The Life of Paul’. Suffice to say here that I’ve been in the railway industry, one way and another, for 40 years, with experience in a wide (some would say bewildering) range of sectors and disciplines.

Let me eat cake…Salvo in Ridgmont Station Tea Rooms

I originated and developed ‘community rail’ and was directly involved in the establishment of over twenty community-rail partnerships which have led to increased use of local and regional railways and additional investment.

I write for several periodicals ranging from Chartist, Big Issue North, Local Transport Today to RAIL and Today’s Railways.

Me, and a dignified view of the men’s toilets at Comptoir Libanais, Oxford

My book Socialism with a Northern Accent was published by Lawrence and Wishart (www.lwbooks.co.uk). Railpolitik – bringing railways back to communities, outlines a different approach to rail ownership, somewhere between the current arrangements and Labour’s centralising appoach.

I’ve always been involved in my local community – I was a founder-student of the Free University of Slawit and helped set up the Penistone Line Partnership back in 1993.I’m chair of Bolton Area Community Rail Partnership andvice-chair of Bolton Station Community Development Partnership, which is gradually transforming a large (and for too long, neglected) station as a community hub.

Politically, I’m a Northern Regionalist and supported The Yorkshire Party (formerly Yorkshire First), for which I stood in the General Election in Colne Valley, gaining a rather modest 572 votes.

Proud to be Northern!

I’m now back home in Lancashire, not part of any organised party but I support the work of Compass and Chartist. No single party has a monopoly of ‘correctness’. Philosophically, I’d would describe myself as a green social democrat with an anarchist tinge. This is despite having accepted an MBE for ‘services to the rail industry’. Huh!

Bolton Station CDP getting out and about at a community event in Farnworth

I’m a ‘visiting professor’ at the University of Huddersfield, in the Department of Transport and Logistics. This involves some lecturing and conference organisation. I was recently appointed a Visiting Professor in ‘Worktown Studies’ at the University of Bolton, in the Faculty of Arts.

I was appointed to the board member of Transport Focus in 2013 – this is the national consumer body for rail, bus and tram passengers – and came off in 2016 wen I started working for Arriva UK Trains. These days I do odd bits of consultancy and journalism. Keeps me off the streets…..

To get in touch, go to ‘Contact’ page. Have fun, or ‘hwyl fawr’.