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New Chief Inspector of the Railways appointed

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has announced that one of its current deputy chief inspectors will succeed Ian Prosser CBE in the summer as HM Chief Inspector of Railways.

Richard Hines, who currently heads up the team of ORR’s non-mainline health and safety inspectors was appointed after an open recruitment process. The process drew considerable interest from a strong field of candidates with varied backgrounds from multiple sectors.

Hines boasts a lengthy career in engineering and safety, and  currently oversees the regulator’s responsibilities on the Channel Tunnel.

In becoming director of railway safety, Richard will join the Board at ORR and will also head up HM Railway Inspectorate, which has been a key part of ORR since 2006. He becomes the 26th HM Chief Inspector of Railways in the Inspectorate’s 183 year old history.

Picture of Richard Hines

Before initially joining ORR on secondment in 2020 Richard, who began his career in electrical engineering at British Sugar, spent 14 years at the Health and Safety Executive, initially as a specialist inspector on electrical control systems and rising in his last three years to Head of Operations.

ORR chief executive John Larkinson said: “Ian Prosser has served with distinction for the last fifteen years and his dedication and leadership has set a high standard for health and safety in the UK rail industry. But I'm confident that Richard's leadership skills and deep understanding of health and safety will open the next chapter and lead to further improvements in both ORR and the industry.”

Richard Hines said: “I am delighted to take on this opportunity at a time of change and challenge for our railways. As I move into the role later in 2024, I look forward to working with the team and sector colleagues to build on previous successes and deliver a safe railway.”

“The upcoming 200-year celebration of our railways provides us with an amazing opportunity to create a health and safety legacy of which we are all proud”.

Photo Credit: iStock/ORR

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