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New rail regulator chosen

JOHN PRESCOTT, the Deputy Prime Minister, made his second key rail appointment of the year on Tuesday when he announced that Scottish solicitor Tom Winsor will take over as Rail Regulator on 5 July.

His appointment follows last month's appointment of Sir Alastair Morton as head of the new Strategic Rail Authority.

A third key Government appointment is expected shortly when a new Director of Passenger Rail Franchising is named.

Winsor will be responsible for setting the level and structure of Railtrack's access charges and reviewing the company's investment programme - which it was expected to announce today. The consumer protection function of the Regulator is to go to the SRA.

Winsor, who was head of the Railways Group at London-based solicitor Denton Hall, worked for the Office of the Rail Regulator before, when he was seconded to the ORR in 1993 as Chief Legal Adviser. He then became General Counsel to the first Rail Regulator, John Swift.

Winsor will take over from acting Regulator Chris Bolt, who has been standing in as Rail Regulator since John Swift's departure last December.

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