TRAIN operator Northern – which runs services on the Airedale line – has a new head of IT.

David Sparling began his career in the IT industry nearly three decades ago, as a software developer at First Direct.

Over the years he has held posts at HSBC, was head of IT at The British Library and latterly served as chief technology officer with housing and care provider Anchor Trust.

In his new role, Mr Sparling will build on technology activity already underway across Northern's fleet, stations, crew bases and offices, and develop an IT strategy to support the company's business plan.

He says: "I’ve been interested in the railways most of my life and am really excited to join Northern, the second largest train operator in the UK.

"I'm looking forward to getting to know how the business works and seeing what opportunities technology can bring to support colleagues and customers, as well as what my experience in leading technology can contribute to the industry."