Institute of Transport Administration

The Old Studio,
25 Greenfield Road
Westoning, Beds MK45 5JD

t: 44 (0)1525 634940
m: 44 (0)7768 303588
e: director@iota.org.uk


The Management Team


The President


Alan J Whittington FInstTA 

Alan is a widely recognised and well respected award winning consultant in the road transport industry.  He entered the industry in 1972 at the age of 21 as a bus driver for National Bus Company subsidiary, London Country Bus Services.

Studying and passing the IoTA examinations at Thurrock Technical College, winning the Albert Polaine Award for the best results by a student in the South East assisted a rapid series of promotions. In 1978 he was invited back to the college as a visiting lecturer to teach the new Transport Managers’ Certificate of Professional Competence, thereby becoming one of the first people in the country to teach CPC courses. By the time he left National Bus in 1981 he had been through depot management to the position of Area Training Manager. There followed a number of senior managerial positions in the passenger and freight sectors of both the private and public sides of the industry until 1991 when he founded his own training and consultancy company which continues to provide advice and tuition to the industry.

Beginning his institute journey in 1976 as a Student Member he progressed through the grades of Graduate, Associate Member and Member before being elected a Fellow in 1993. He has served Essex Centre continuously from 1977 as a member of its Committee having been Education Officer, Programme Officer, National Council Representative, Vice Chairman and Chairman, twice. At national level he spent a year on the National Education Committee and served on various Working Parties before joining the National Elections Committee in 1991, becoming its Chairman in 1993. He retained the chair of the combined Membership and Training Committee during the mergers of the late ‘90s and remained on the committee until his election to Deputy President in October 2007.

During the past few years he has represented IoTA at numerous external events and local radio stations, in addition to giving invited presentations at IoTA centres and groups across the country. He has also been successful in raising the Institute’s profile through the award winning consultancy and training business he continues to run which brings him into contact with operators and drivers across the UK.

Alan is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen in the City of London, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, A Fellow of the Institute of Business Consulting, a member of the Roads and Road Transport History Association and a member of the London Underground Railway Society.

Alan Whittington President IoTA.jpg

Deputy President

Ray Rowsell FInstTA

Ray started his working life as an accounts clerk having left school with a handful of GCEs.  In 1965 fate intervened. A director of the brewery he worked for was also a committee member of TRTA (forerunner to FTA) alongside Norman Putman, later to become the Institute's Education Committee Chairman, who was trying to get the first institute education programme off the ground.  Ray was asked (in an encouraging sort of way!) if he would like to take part in that first course.  He jumped at the opportunity although it meant attending the local college for several evenings a week. He joined the Institute, via Portsmouth Centre, as a Student.  Many evenings, straight from a day's work, spent at Highbury College and many exams led to upgrades, first to Graduate, then to Associate Member. He still has the engraved fountain pen awarded to him as "Best Student". Soon he was asked to join the Portsmouth Centre Committee, quickly becoming Centre Secretary where he remained until 1980. Whilst Centre Secretary, he attended many national meetings as an observer. In 1978 he married Jan (who also produced the centre minutes!) and their son, Nathan was born in 1979 when, due to a promotion to Deputy Distribution Manager responsible for customer deliveries across large area of the South, they moved to the New Forest. He stayed at Romsey Brewery, where he was promoted to Warehouse and Administration Manager, until 1985.

For the next few years, he supported both Southampton and Portsmouth Centre open meetings whenever the job and a young family allowed.  He recalls working long hours in those difficult times when "strike" was one of the most used words in the transport world!

In 1985 another promotion to Regional Distribution Services Manager required the family, now including Kate who was born in 1982, to move back to Portsmouth to set up a new facility to support 6 depots and he re-joined the centre committee that continued to thrive.  However, over the ensuing years, age took its toll on centre and committee members and it was merged with Southampton Centre to become Solent Centre in 2001.  Ray joined that committee and was elected as chairman in 2003 a role he held for a number of years.  The family move was quickly followed by another promotion, this time to head office in London, which gave him national responsibility for managing the use and development of computer systems for by the distribution function across 40 locations.  He stayed at head office, in a number of senior roles including the restructure of the depot network, until he took early retirement in 1999.  Post retirement he managed a small solicitors' practice for 10 years during which time he helped that business double in size.

For many years, Ray was National Treasurer of the Lorry Driver of the Year Association and he says never had the desire or confidence to aspire to National Office in the Institute, preferring to promote education and membership locally where he was instrumental in the formation of Sussex Centre.  However, in 2005 he was persuaded by centre colleagues to be put forward for F&GP Committee to which he was elected and served for a number of years.  He was National Treasurer from 2006 to 2008, a Lay Auditor from 2013 until 2019 and a Trustee in 2019

Although a keen sportsman, he played football, cricket and tennis in his younger days, his enduring interest has always been "things with wheels".  This interest probably started when, in the school holidays, he sometimes accompanied his father, a drayman, delivering beer to public houses across the South of England.  Little did he know that 30 years later he would become the manager responsible for that delivery fleet! For several years he was involved in teaching young people to drive with the Under 17s Car Club.  He has been a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorist for more than 30 years and enjoys being a member of Commercial Transport in Preservation and Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust. On sunny summer days, he enjoys nothing more than driving his 1969 MG Midget, that he has owned for more than 20 years, across the South Downs.


Ray A Rowsell FInstTA IoTA's Deputy President (003).jpg

National Chairman

Laurence Laver MInstTA

Laurence has worked in transport and distribution for nearly 30 years, beginning his career in distribution behind the wheel working his way through a variety of driving jobs. His transport management background is through Regional distribution in the South West, nationwide distribution and general haulage based in Reading and distribution solution development and management in Oxford. 

He has experience routing and scheduling vehicle fleets, managing people, both drivers and office staff. He has extensive knowledge of Carriers and their capabilities especially within general haulage and palletised freight movements.

laurence Laver.jpg

External Affairs Committee


Mike Schmidt MInstTA

Mike joined the Royal Navy from school at age 18, starting his training at Dartmouth as an Officer Cadet, in his second year as a Midshipman he served in ships in the Gulf and Far East. His third year was spent back at the College on academic studies including German qualifying as an interpreter which included some time in Germany with the BAOR and the then Federal German Navy.

Mike's return to sea service saw 2 years aboard a guided missile destroyer serving in the Middle East, Far East and West Indies. As a now qualified bridge watch officer and navigator he chose to specialise in hydrographic, oceanographic and meteorological studies and after studying at the specialised studies school in Devonport joined his first RN survey ship. One of his first studies was to conduct surveys in various islands in the West Indies prior to the building of harbour facilities to accept cruise liners, serving in number of survey vessels as the years progressed to conduct surveys in Northern Ireland and off the west coast of Scotland prior to the creation of a submarine torpedo firing range. Progressing up the promotion ladder Mike was appointed First Lieutenant of an Ocean Survey Vessel, finding himself as Resident Naval Officer Kyle of Loch Alsh in charge of the RN facility which in earlier times he had surveyed. Following a decision of the powers that be, that there were too many officers of his rank in the RN – Commander – he was pensioned off.

Having been offered resettlement courses as part of a redundancy package Mike chose to take PSV and HGV training and started work as a bus driver with Gosport & Fareham Bus Company – Provincial, driving in the local area and also to Portsmouth and Southampton. As time progressed he became a supervisor and also a tutor for new recruits and under inspirational management employees were invited to contribute appropriate sums of money to form employee owned company under the name of People’s Provincial – Gosport and Fareham. This worked well for some years but sadly First Group appeared on the scene and bought the concern, it was never the same so after almost 10 years service he left.

Mike moved to Hampshire County Council Highways Department and specialised in road surveys, was required to attend all fatal road traffic accidents in the local area to assist the police and in particular survey and draw up a plan of the accident site for court purposes. He also set up Dial a Ride services in the Gosport and Fareham areas using mini buses, and they survive today.

Even whilst a bus driver Mike was also an Auxiliary Coastguard in the operations room as an operations room auxiliary. As it turned out, this was a good move as when he was about to be made redundant from the County Council he was able to become a full time Coastguard in the operations room at Lee on the Solent almost immediately. He progressed to watch manager responsible on a shift basis for all search and rescue in the Solent area including out to the middle of the Channel from Beachy Head to Hengistbury Head. Sadly a major reorganisation of HM Coastguard was undertaken and local operations rooms disappeared and fewer staff were required.

Following this reorganisation he chose to join the staff of the Southampton Port Authority – Associated British Ports – where he started on the harbour masters launch patrolling the port area and out to the Solent and shipping lanes, moving over to the pilot launch service operating out of Gosport providing launches to convey ship’s pilots to all shipping arriving and departing the port of Southampton. This was later extended to all commercial shipping entering and leaving the port of Portsmouth.

Retiring age 67,  he is now actively involved in the Southampton Heritage bus group and the Gosport Railway Society and Commercial Transport in Preservation, and has been an active member of Iota for many years, in particular the Solent Centre until sadly it was disbanded, but but continues to be involved as part of a team producing the Journal each year.

With grandchildren in both America and Swindon he follows the public transport scene in both places and has written a number of articles on the subject in both areas including Seattle in Washington State. As a 72 year old Mike still holds a valid PSV and HGV licence.      

Mike Schmidt.jpg

Publicity Officer

Mel Holley FInstTA

A multi award-wining transport journalist, Mel has active in the field for more than 30 years. As well as editing and writing for magazines, he has written/edited nine transport books.

After a career switch from a surveyor (electricity distribution),he joined EMAP magazines, where he spent a decade, latterly as Deputy Editor at the fortnightly Rail, and finally as Editor at the four-weekly Steam Railway, before he moved to the weekly trade title Coach & Bus Week.

This was followed by being a key part of the 2003 launch team of start-up weekly coach and bus industry trade publication routeONE, of which he subsequently became editor. The business grew with further trade magazine launches and products added, and he was promoted to Group Editor, Diversified Communications, based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

He retired from this role in 2018, and now holds a number of transport-related contracts, including editorial consultant for Binswood Media which launched an online news and thought-leadership channel - called ITT Hub - in May 2019.

The news channel supports the Innovation and Technology in Transport conference and exhibition - ITThub - that launched in May 2021 at Farnborough, Hampshire.

He also holds current LGV and PCV driving licences, and International Transport Manager CPC (Passenger) and is active in passenger road transport operations. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

Mel also continues to write for railway publications, including Railway Illustrated and Trackside and has a particular interest in technical and operational matters of all transport.

A former director of Great Central Railway PLC - a heritage steam railway in Leicestershire - and its charitable body Main Line Steam Trust, during a period of expansion during which it opened the world’s first preserved double-track mainline, he is also a member of the Permanent Way Institution.

His interests include railways, photography, gardening, architecture, history (especially eastern European),sciences, engineering, and classic cars. He is the Chairman of the Warburg Trabant IFA Club UK, and has an eclectic collection of classic vehicles including Morris Ital, Allegro, FX4 taxi, Bedford HA van, Smart, Wartburg, Trabant, Volga and Zaporozhets.


Education, Training and Membership Committee


Ian Fairweather FInstTA

Ian entered the transport industry at the age of 16 and developed a life-long passion for transport, which began with a driving career. 

Starting out in a Luton-bodied Bedford TK, he soon moved on to HGV Class 1 on international haulage. This was followed by several years with Grey-Green Coaches of Stamford Hill. After a spell with Galleon Coaches (Mile End) as Transport Manager, Ian returned to freight transport joining Tibbett & Britten Group plc.

It was during his time at TBG that Ian became involved with Operator Licensing, and this is where he learnt the complexities of looking after the 52 Operator Licences held by TBG.

In 1990, Ian joined IoTA (Hertfordshire Centre) and for several years was the Centre Secretary.

But the call of the “open-road” was strong, so in the mid-1990’s Ian returned to driving, and in 2001 he started his first company. By 2004, the move into training had started with a second company.  

Today Ian still runs both companies, is an external Transport Manager for two operators, teaches the Transport Manager’s CPC as well as TMR, OLAT and Driver CPC. He held a position with a well-known industry examinations body and has represented numerous companies at Traffic Commissioners Public Inquiries whilst continuing to work alongside those operators on a consultancy basis.

during the COVID-19 pandemic Ian become a key-worker, driving 44t artics for a blue-chip supermarket chain around London and the South East.




Christopher Sullivan FInstTA

Christopher has worked in the bus industry since 1969 and has been a member of the Institute since 1979; he was at one time Treasurer of the Herts, Bucks and Beds Centre

He is President of the Transport Benevolent Fund, a Committee Member of the Bus Employee’s Friendly Society and a member of the Transport for London Pensions Consultative Council and Pensioners Forum and has received training and top-up training in the role of Trustee on a regular basis.

Christopher is a member of Solent centre.


Mike Walker FInstTA

Mike's background is in road-freight.

For many years Mike was involved in operations, being both a transport manager and a despatch manager for a large, well known retailer.

Soon after joining IoTA Mike became involved in sales, for a while combining the sales role with operations. As the sales became more and more successful the concentration fell more on that. 

Moving to international freight, Mike travelled the north of England specialising mainly in European freight, working with a number of large well know customers.

Mike is married to Julie with two married daughters, 3 grandsons and a granddaughter adding to his growing family.

Outside the transport industry, Mike is a committed Christian and trained in Ministry in the early 1970s. Since retiring, he now works part time as a chaplain to West Yorkshire police.

Mike has served on both the External Affairs Committee and the Education Committee (being chairman of both for a while). He served as National chairman 2005 / 2006



Martin Price FInstTA

Martin was born in Newport, South Wales in February 1961.  His interest in road transport, HGV and PSV, was inspired by the many trips he undertook across the country with his father.  Martin is married and has two children and a grandchild.

On leaving school Martin served for a period in the Royal Navy and later worked in the local BSC steelworks.  He joined the Royal Air Force in 1979, serving for 22 years in transport as a mechanical transport driver, which took him throughout the UK, Germany, Gibraltar and various other places across the world.  Martin says a lot of his time in the forces was spent as a driving instructor and specialist transport instructor.

After retirement he continued to work and took a position with DLT training in Bridgend.  With much more to give to the transport industry his current position is as driver trainer for Babcock, training the emergency services, a role he continues to enjoy.

Having joined IoTA in August 2003, he has served on the Education and Training committee where he was also the chairman and progressed to National Chairman for the Institute, a position he held for 2 years.  A move to the External Affairs committee saw him elected as the chairman, a position he has held for the last two years. 


martin price (2).jpg

Wg. Cdr. Peter Green FInstTA

Information and picture pending 


peter green .jpg

Chris Palmer MInstTA

Information and picture pending 



Director of the Institute


David Dalglish FInstTA

Born in 1947 David was brought up in Westerham (Kent),moving to Worthing in his early teens. His first job upon leaving school, was to join the Merchant Navy working as an Assistant Steward on Passenger Cargo vessels.

From a catering background, David was initially trained in management by J Lyons in their Corner Houses and was subsequently engaged as a restaurant manager until joining Trust Houses Forte as a Beverage, Bars and Banqueting manager. He latterly joined Gardiner Merchants (GM),gaining further experience in both the Airline and Industrial catering  industry and where, as part of GM’s area management team, he also re-trained and  acquired further qualifications as a (HCI) Catering Instructor.

Using knowledge gleaned from the above experiences, together with the introduction of new EEC legislation, David formed and then ran his own business between 1984 and 2005 providing European Tax and Duty services to the Airline and Ship’s Stores sector.

David joined the Institute in 2001 and was appointed as the Director in 2006.

He is a Fellow of Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (FRSA) and a Fellow of the Institute (FInstTA)

In a past life David has also been a Chef Patron and a Professional Musician, where he still enjoys the latter as an active hobby. He is married with three children and three grand-children.