Ex-Vale pupil takes the fast track to top of railway body

Steve Coe
Steve Coe
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A former Aylesbury schoolboy has been appointed to a senior position at a national transport union.

Steve Coe grew up in Haddenham and studied at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School from 1968 to 1975 and has now been named as an assistant general secretary at the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association.

Mr Coe, 55, has spent 18 years working in the railway industry and 12 at the union.

It might seem an unusual career for a student from leafy Bucks, but Mr Coe says it is in his blood as he is the fourth generation of his family to be involved in railways.

He said: “I also come from a family that believes in social justice and fighting for people’s rights. Even when I was at school I was very much to the fore on that front.”

His passion for the industry was evident from a young age, with Mr Coe admitting he often spent time gazing out of the second floor classroom windows watching trains when he should have been studying.

The railways have been thrown into the political limelight recently, with heated debates on the West Coast Mainline fiasco and, of course, HS2.

On the latter, Mr Coe believes there is a need for a line and says anti-HS2 campaigners should push for a stop somewhere in the area.

He said: “While I have a great deal of attachment to the Vale of Aylesbury and it’s a beautiful area, it would seem to be the best route.

“But I can understand people’s frustration when they are not going to get anything out of it. As a rail union we would support a campaign to get a station built. Whatever railway is built has got to support everybody.”

Mr Coe said the West Coast row proves privatisation of railways ‘just isn’t working’. He also welcomed the news that a line linking Aylesbury to Milton Keynes, via Winslow, has been approved by the Treasury.

He said: “It’s great to see that railway reinstated.”