Director General Rail Group

Ruth Hannant

Ruth Hannant


Ruth Hannant and Polly Payne became Directors General for Rail Group at the Department for Transport (DfT) as a job-share in December 2017.

Prior to DfT Ruth and Polly 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)

Ruth and Polly moved to BIS from HM Treasury where they led the Corporate Finance, Business, Innovation and Skills team.

Before job-sharing with Polly, Ruth was a Deputy Director in the Shareholder Executive (now UK Government Investments) where she lead work on Post Office reform, Royal Mail and Postal Policy, the government’s shareholdings in NATS and CDC and the restructuring of British Energy. Ruth started her career in DTI working on exports, employment relations and energy. She also spent 9 months on secondment at HSBC Investment Bank in their Energy and Utilities team.

Director General Rail Group

As Directors General for Rail Group, Ruth and Polly will 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

Department for Transport