Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Price appointed as new ORR CEO

This from the Office of Rail Regulation...

The Office of Rail Regulation today announced that Richard Price is to be its next Chief Executive, succeeding Bill Emery who steps down in June.

Richard Price has significant experience of economic regulation through his jobs in Government (including being Chief Economist at both the Home Office and Defra) and in the private sector.

Richard led the Enterprise team in HM Treasury from 2002-6. This included leading on the Treasury’s relations with business, helping to shape the Hampton Review of regulation, which resulted in the rationalisation of the regulatory framework for UK business, and negotiating launch investment with the aerospace sector so as to ensure a commercial return for Government. More recently Richard has led a radical change programme at Defra, reorganising the department to meet its future challenges.

Welcoming the appointment on behalf of the ORR Board, Chair, Anna Walker said:

“I am delighted that Richard is joining us to lead ORR during a period of change for the whole rail sector. In doing so, he will be able to draw on a unique mix of relevant experience. As well as his expertise as a top government economist, Richard has a deep understanding of regulation from a private sector commercial viewpoint, knows how markets work and has hands-on experience of leading complex change.

“Richard will join ORR in May and will spend his first month immersing himself in the rail sector before taking up the reins from Bill Emery in June.”

Richard Price, who is currently Chief Economist and Director of Performance at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said:

“This is an exciting time to be joining the ORR. The rail sector has much to be proud of in terms of improved performance, safety and customer satisfaction. But it has to demonstrate that it can do even more at much lower cost to ensure the railways play their full part in our economy and society and that continuing public investment is fully justified.

“With the structure of the industry under the spotlight it is only right that the shape and focus of the regulatory framework is too. I look forward to engaging with the industry, its customers and funders, and other stakeholders – and of course working with my new colleagues at ORR on these important future challenges.”

The ORR also announced today that non executive directors Chris Elliott and Richard Goldson are standing down from its Board at the end of their current terms on 31 March 2011.

Commenting on the departures, Chair, Anna Walker said:

"I would like to express my and the Board’s warm thanks to Chris Elliott and Richard Goldson for the commitment and expertise they have both brought to the Office of Rail Regulation's Board over the past five years.

"Chris has been instrumental in guiding the regulator's approach to safety in particular, during a period which has seen safety on Britain's railways improve markedly. Richard's rail expertise has been invaluable in reaching decisions on the 2008 periodic review and in setting the foundations for the 2013 periodic review.

The ORR also today announced that the Secretary of State for Transport has reappointed director of rail policy Michael Beswick to its Board until 14 June 2014.

Commenting on the reappointment, Anna Walker said:

"I am delighted that Michael Beswick will remain on the Board for a further three years. His deep knowledge of the railways will be invaluable as we look forward to helping the rail industry deliver on recommendations from Sir Roy McNulty's forthcoming Value for Money Study."

Notes to editors:
1. Richard Price joined the Civil Service after gaining his MSc in Economics in 1989. He then spent four years at HM Treasury, before leaving to work as a consultant for NERA Economic Consulting, where he advised businesses and governments on the economic regulation of large infrastructure projects and utilities. In 1997 he returned to the Treasury as a senior policy adviser before moving to the Home Office as Chief Economist and then Strategy Adviser to the Permanent Secretary, working among other things on the funding and performance framework for the police. Richard was also a project director at the Prime Minister’s Performance and Innovation Unit in 2000-01.
2. Between 2002 and 2006 Richard led the Treasury’s Enterprise and Business team, working on the development of industry and enterprise policy to drive UK economic growth. This included putting government support for businesses on a more commercial basis, for example Launch Investment in Aerospace and the creation of the Capital for Enterprise, a publically-owned fund of funds providing finance for small businesses with strong growth prospects. Richard was closely involved in the Hampton Review which led to the rationalisation of the regulatory framework for business in the UK.
3. Most recently he has worked at Defra in the dual posts of Chief Economist and Director of Corporate Performance, where he leads a group of 230 staff. At Defra, Richard designed and implemented major changes in Defra’s organisation, delivery and strategy.
4. Under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003, appointments to the ORR Board are made by the Secretary of State for Transport. He has appointed Richard Price to the Board for five years from May 2011.
5. Richard Goldson OBE has been a non-executive Board member since 2 October 2006. He has spent his career working in the rail industry and held senior positions at the British Railways Board and National Express Group. His railways experience has been very valuable in shaping the Board’s regulatory approach.
6. Chris Elliott has been a non-executive Board member since 1 July 2007. He is an independent consultant and visiting professor, with expertise as a systems engineer and barrister, and extensive experience of rail and transport issues.
7. Michael Beswick is Executive Director, Rail Policy at ORR and has been a Board member since 20 March 2006. He holds an MSc in economics and has over 30 years’ experience of working in the railway industry, including roles in operations, planning and business management.

- ENDS -

Pointless signs - Bradford Interchange

This from the Yorkshire Rover...

I snapped this sign at Bradford Interchange today.

In the background is a Grand Central service awaiting departure for London.

According to the Open Access operator you can buy your ticket aboard their trains without penalty.

I wonder who is right?

UPDATE: This from a Mr Ed Chap...

Presumably this is all at the DfT's behest, to make it more difficult for the Open Access operators?

After all, WSMR has gone and I am sure some in Marsham Street would like the rest to disappear as well.

Yes campaigners open new front in war of HS2

So. The battle for the country's hearts and minds over High Speed 2 is hotting up.

Latest into the fray is new campaign group Yes to High Speed Rail.

Led by David 'Beggy' Begg the new group has already signed up a legion of large underpanted individuals as members of its 'National Council'.

And of course Beggy himself is an industry big beast, listing his previous achievements on the new campaign's website...

...a former chairman of the Commission for Integrated Transport and has an international reputation as a commentator on transport issues. He is the non-executive chairman of Tube Lines, and is a former Director of the Centre for Transport Policy at Robert Gordon University , Aberdeen.

Ah! Tubelines.

A word to the wise.

Probably best not to ask London Underground for a reference when suggesting PPP as a funding option for the new railway...

UPDATE:This from Leo Pink...

So now we have the 'commentators' lining up in the HST2 wars.

But how does David Begg's 'international reputation' compare with Wolmar's 'enormous depth of knowledge'?

Can we look forward to a commentator's Top Trumps to settle the issue?