UK: Interim Chair of Office of Rail and Road Appointed

Image courtesy of Network Rail

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that Professor Stephen Glaister CBE FICE FTRF FCGI is the new Chair of independent regulator Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for one year beginning in January 2016. The announcement was made on Thursday 17 December 2015.

Professor Glaister will replace Anna Walker as Chair, who held the position for six years. He will lead the regulator in ensuring Network Rail and Highways England are held to account regarding safety and efficiency.

The Transport Secretary has appointed a Chair for the interim period of one year while a review is conducted into the future role and remit of the ORR. This follows an independent report by Dame Colette Bowe from early 2015. The review is being undertaken in parallel with Nicola Shaws report on the long-term future and financing of Network Rail, which will be published next year.

Patrick McLoughlin said:

A strong, independent regulator is essential in maintaining the safe and smooth running of the UKs transport network and I am confident that Professor Glaister will bring continuity and stability to the ORR as we consider the broader shape and structure of the rail industry.
His wealth of experience will ensure the organisation is best placed to respond to the challenges ahead and able to deliver both value for money for taxpayers, and improvements for passengers. I would also like to thank Anna Walker for her dedication to the role over the past six years.

Professor Glaister, who has sat on the ORR board as a non-executive director since April 2015, is Emeritus Professor of Transport and Infrastructure at Imperial College London. He has served on a number of transport boards including Transport for London, in addition to acting in an advisory role to the government and the Transport Select Committee. He was director of the RAC Foundation until his retirement recently.

Professor Glaister said:

I am honoured to be leading ORR as Chair at this time of both rejuvenation and enhancement for rail and road, working with ORRs expert staff all of whom are committed to serving the public interest.
The UK transport sector continues to expand, demanding a stable, secure and well-governed regime to enable it to provide adequately for the needs of a growing economy. This includes strong and independent economic and safety regulation which protects the interests of investors, taxpayers and users not least, the travelling public. ORR will continue to be dedicated to this task.
Our transport and infrastructure sectors are recognised as important. But they are complex and ever-changing. They naturally undergo reviews of how their institutions work effectively. ORR welcomes the review of the longer-term future shape and financing of Network Rail and the separate review of ORRs future role. We will make a positive contribution in helping both reviews arrive at a successful conclusion.

Professor Glaister will fill the role from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. The appointment was made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice on ministerial appointments to public bodies.

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