David William Prescott was born in 1951. He joined British Railways through its Graduate Scheme in 1974. He was an East Coast trainee and became an Area Operations Manager based in Darlington from 1978. He moved to be Hull Area Operations and Freight Manager in 1980 and then on to be Freight Contracts Manager (Oils & Chemicals) in Middlesbrough from 1983, as well as working on Chemicals & Industrial Minerals contracts in York and as Manager Oils for Teesside & Humberside, both in 1984. He was Marketing Manager for Provincial Eastern in York from 1986. In 1990 he moved to the Regional Railways Headquarters to be Marketing Strategy Manager.

He was appointed as Commercial Manager (Revenue) at British Railways Headquarters in 1994 before moving to ScotRail in 1996, where he worked as Head of Customer Services in 1997 and was based in Glasgow. He moved into consultancy in 2002. He joined Transport Scotland in 2006 until 2015 when he moved into part-time consultancy and part-time retirement.