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New ORR chief executive announced

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) today announced that Richard Price is to be its next chief executive, succeeding Bill Emery who steps down in June.

Price joins the ORR with significant experience of economic regulation through his jobs in Government, including his current post as chief economist and director of performance at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

He also 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.

His appointment comes as the McNulty review into value for money in the rail sector, which is sponsored by the ORR, prepares to report to the Department for Transport next month.

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.”

He will join ORR in May before taking over from Emery the next month.

He 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 Richard Goldson and Chris Elliott are standing down from its Board at the end of their current terms on 31 March 2011, having been members since October 2006 and July 2007 respectively.

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.

“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,” Walker said.

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