Go-Ahead chiefs amass £3.5m while victims wait

The two top executives of Go-Ahead, one of the train operators involved in the Paddington rail crash, have amassed pension pots worth a total of £3.5m even though scores of passengers injured in the disaster are still waiting for compensation.

Martin Ballinger, chief executive of Go-Ahead, and Chris Moyes, its deputy chief executive, have pension pots worth £1.9m and £1.4m respectively, according to the company's latest report and accounts published yesterday. By contrast, the 78 passengers injured in the crash four years ago, which killed 31 people, are still waiting for their £30m compensation pay-out because of legal wrangling between lawyers involved in the case.

Go-Ahead is the owner of Thames Trains, one of whose drivers caused the disaster after he jumped a red light and collided head-on with an oncoming Great Western express owned by First Group. Mr Ballinger accused the media of being "stupid" and working up a frenzy after the crash and has insisted that Thames Trains would escape prosecution.

Apart from his increased pension entitlement, Mr Ballinger also saw his pay package rise from £348,000 to £361,000, including a £57,000 bonus. In addition, Mr Ballinger, who still owns a 7 per cent stake in Go-Ahead, is set to collect £900,000 before tax in dividend payments.

Go-Ahead's other rail franchise, Thameslink, has been one of the worst-performing commuter lines in the country. Despite this, Go-Ahead increased its dividend to shareholders by 47 per cent this year to 25p a share. The huge rise in the dividend helps explain why Go-Ahead shares have performed so strongly this year, rising from 550p to 960p, valuing the company at £500m.

Mr Ballinger, Mr Moyes and a group of other senior managers paid just £3m for Go-Ahead when they bought out the business from the then state-owned National Bus Company in 1987. The company floated in 1994 and two years later it cashed in on the privatisation of British Rail by buying its two train franchises. Two years ago, Go-Ahead was awarded a third rail franchise when the French-owned group Connex was kicked off the South Central line.

Mr Ballinger lives in a £1m Georgian country pile in Northumbria close to Go-Ahead's Newcastle-upon-Tyne headquarters and flies his own twin-engined Piper Chieftain plane to meetings in London. His deputy, Mr Moyes, has a much more modest lifestyle, often travelling by the number 7 bus when he visits the headquarters of Go-Ahead's bus division in Brighton.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
A poster by Durham Constabulary
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine