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25.06.15

Parry-Jones pushed out at Network Rail; Peter Hendy takes over

Richard Parry-Jones has been replaced as chair of Network Rail by Sir Peter Hendy, the current transport commissioner for London.

After losing confidence in Parry-Jones’ ability to oversee Network Rail effectively after a series of missed targets and cost overruns, the Department for Transport says Hendy “will be a huge asset”.

In his formal announcement, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin offered no thanks or praise to Parry-Jones, saying merely that he “is stepping down” and calling Hendy “someone of huge experience, who helped keep London moving during the Olympics”.

Sir Peter Hendy CBE said in a statement: “Network Rail has a critical role in the railway industry and the whole British economy, by facilitating economic growth and enabling job creation. I am delighted to be asked to chair the Board and help it, the executive team and the whole organisation fulfil Network Rail’s full potential. I am looking forward to working with Mark Carne as he takes the organisation forward.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Peter Hendy has given 10 years of superb service to London. He has helped oversee the biggest programme of investment in transport since Victorian times – from Crossrail and the Tube upgrades to the cycle superhighways. He delivered a near perfect transport plan during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and earned TfL the admiration of passengers from around the world. It is quite right that those skills should be deployed on the national stage. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Peter on projects like Crossrail 2 and rail devolution that are of colossal importance for London and the UK economy.”

Hendy’s previous background was in buses rather than rail, having been deputy director of UK Bus for FirstGroup and managing director of CentreWest London Buses. Parry-Jones’ own career had been in the automotive industry, primarily with Ford.

UPDATE

Richard Parry-Jones has put out a statement about leaving Network Rail.

He said: “It has been an honour to serve in this nationally important role, and a pleasure to work with colleagues across the industry. I am proud of the progress we have made on many fronts and would like to thank all our incredibly dedicated staff for their hard work, our customers for their business and their understanding when not everything goes to plan, and the public for their growing support for the industry. I wish my successor every success."

Patrick McLoughlin has now put on record his thanks to Parry-Jones for his work. He said in a statement released via Network Rail: “Network Rail has a very important role delivering a reliable national rail network. I thank its chairman, Richard Parry-Jones, for his three years of service. Network Rail has shown, by the work it completed at Dawlish following the winter storms, and at Reading where extensive work was completed over Easter, what it could achieve under difficult circumstances.”

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: "I would like to express my appreciation to Richard Parry-Jones for his support and challenge to me and the executive team over the last three years. In particular, he revitalised our engagement with technology and the opportunity that it can bring to improve our railway. 

“I would also like to give a warm welcome to Sir Peter Hendy as the new chairman. I have already had the pleasure of working closely with Sir Peter in his previous role on many occasions in the last year, and I know that his immense experience will be a huge asset to the Board, to me and to the company.”

Comments

Lutz   27/06/2015 at 11:39

It is not sufficient to to just let the under-performers go; they have collectively cost the DfT around GBP 2 Billion or more, and efforts must be made against the individuals concerned to claw-back a substantial proportion of their earnings.

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