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Railhub Archive
2000-03-27 RTK-001
Railtrack plc


Railtrack creates new safety director post

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Railtrack plc

Railtrack creates new safety director post

related documents

1999-12-01 Integrating London’s rail services (Shadow Strategic Rail Authority)


27 March 2000
source Railtrack plc
type Press release

Chris Leah to be New Safety Director

As part of its commitment to a step change in operational safety management, Railtrack today announced the appointment on the Group Board of a Director of Safety & Environment.

Chris Leah, formerly Operations Director, will move to the new post. He will be responsible for implementing across Railtrack all the recommendations flowing from the various reports received since the tragic accident at Ladbroke Grove. The existing Safety & Standards Directorate will remain within Railtrack and continue to act for the whole industry. Preparations are underway to establish it as a separate subsidiary company as reflected in the requirements of the recently announced DETR review.

Railtrack Chief Executive Gerald Corbett said: 'Although the railway safety record has been steadily improving since privatisation, Ladbroke Grove was a watershed. We have to make it the catalyst for a step change in safety management and culture. Chris Leah, with his 33 years experience in the railway industry, is the right person to help me lead the Company's operational delivery of all these commitments.'

The move follows an HSE review that found no conflict between safety and commercial interests and highlighted Railtrack's sophisticated safety management system and committed staff. However the HSE identified several areas to help further improve safety practice which Railtrack is taking forward. Recommendations have also arisen from Professor Uff's report into the Southall accident, Sir David Davies' Report on Train Protection and the Dupont Report commissioned by Railtrack. The Cullen inquiry beginning in May will require significant Railtrack input and is likely to result in further recommendations for rapid response.

A raft of improvements initiated by Railtrack are also underway, including work to further reduce the number of Signals Passed at Danger (SPADs), setting up of the network - wide Confidential Reporting System (CIRAS) for staff, and acceleration of the £300 million Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) fitment programme.

Paul Prescott, Director of Planning & Strategy, will take over responsibility for Railtrack's asset management functions. These include the Company's drive to improve track quality and reduce the number of broken rails. He will continue to report to the Chief Executive.

'The key focus of our engineering function is to develop the technology and asset strategies that will take us forward and help us deliver better performance, track quality and the other public service obligations laid down by our Regulator. Paul will give this programme a cutting edge and focus and help drive it through the organisation', said Gerald Corbett.

As part of Railtrack's drive to develop the supply market to help deliver its record levels of investment David Meek, Director of Contracts & Supply will report to Simon Murray, Director of Major Projects & Investment. Performance Director John Curley will report to Gerald Corbett. All changes are subject to safety case validation with a target date to come into effect on 1 May, 2000.

Mr Corbett said 'These changes will give momentum and drive to the core priorities of safety, performance, investment and asset management.'

For more information or an interview, contact the Railtrack press office on 0171 557 8292/3 Railtrack has full ISDN broadcast facilities available.

Interviews can normally be arranged on request.

All recent press releases can be found on the Railtrack web site at the following address:

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-03-27 RTK-001


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