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Network Rail boss Armitt to retire

Network Rail chief executive John Armitt today announced his intention to retire at the end of July 2007.
He will be replaced by Network Rail deputy chief executive Iain Coucher.Armitt said: 'Following five challenging, enjoyable and successful years, the time is now right to move on. The company is now a stable and confident organisation ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead. The rail industry is expecting demand growth of at least 30% over the next 10 years. The next challenge is to meet this demand and I believe that 2007 will be the right year to leave the next phase to my successor.' Network Rail deputy chief executive since October 2002, Coucher will become chief executive in August 2007.He said: 'The challenge ahead, and my personal priority, is to grow the capacity of the railway to meet the ever-growing needs of passengers and freight users while maintaining high levels of punctuality and safety, and continuing to drive down costs.'

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