David Higgins has started work as Network Rail chief executive today, and immediately stated his aim to deliver a “better value railway”.
Announcing his priorities for the company on his first day in the post, which he joins from the Olympic Delivery Authority where he was chief executive, Higgins said: “I take charge of a company today, transformed compared to where it was eight years ago. Now we have a safe and punctual railway with more people using it than in any time in the last 70 years. At the same time we are building a bigger and better railway and a better value railway.
“My priorities are to drive further a culture of safety, to get even better value for money for the British people and to be more attuned to the needs of our customers and passengers. I also want people to associate these words with Network Rail: Open. Transparent. Accountable. Responsive.”
Higgins, who has also worked as chief executive of regeneration agency English Partnerships between 2003 to 2005, said: “I must pay tribute to previous and current members of Network Rail’s leadership team for all their hard work that has turned around the railway. Now we start a new chapter and over the next few months I will make further announcements about what Network Rail will do differently in the future as it seeks to build trust.”
He added: “Finally, to the tireless men and women who work for Network Rail all over the country, in all weather and all times of the day; your hands, more than mine, hold the key to our future success. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the near future, to listen and to learn.”