Saturday, 23 October 2021

Rail chief to leave in next year

THE chief executive of Network Rail, who lives in Henley, is quitting.

THE chief executive of Network Rail, who lives in Henley, is quitting.

Sir David Higgins has announced he will leave the £577,000-a-year post within the next year.

The 58-year-old was appointed in February 2011 after joining the company as a non-executive director a year earlier.

He was previously chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority and oversaw the development of the Olympic Park in Stratford.

Sir David refused to discuss his departure but it has been reported he could walk away with a package and bonus worth up to £1 million.

Unions have suggested he had grown tired of rows over bonuses and poor performance of the railways. Network Rail missed all its passenger punctuality targets last year and has been warned it faces a £75 million fine. It is already £30 billion in debt.

In 2012, Sir David and other Network Rail bosses waived their bonuses and invested the money in rail safety programmes. This year, he was awarded a bonus of more than £99,000.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has expressed disappointment at Sir David?s departure, describing him as ?highly regarded?.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: ?Sir David Higgins has done a good job in turning Network Rail around after the difficulties experienced under the previous regime.

He was slowly restoring the company?s reputation.? Sir David was knighted in 2011 for services to regeneration.

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