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UK ministers look to install highly paid boss to spearhead rail reform plan

UK ministers look to install highly paid boss to spearhead rail reform plan

UK ministers look to install highly paid boss to spearhead rail reform plan
Mar 03, 2024 53 secs

Ministers are trying to install a highly paid rail industry figure in the Department for Transport to entrench plans to create Great British Railways (GBR) before the general election.

It comes as rail fares in England and Wales rose by 4.9% on Sunday, which ministers said was “striking a balance”, with the railway still requiring large public subsidy.

Transport ministers and GBR transition team leaders are backing a reorganisation that could recruit an industry figure earning well above the department’s permanent secretary.

Labour has yet to outline its own policy, bar a promise to take train operations into public ownership as contracts expire.

Although some fear ministers are trying to entrench changes that could stymie a new government, Labour has also spoken of establishing a unifying body and a source suggested a DfT restructure could fit with its eventual plans.

Candidates in the frame for the new post could be drawn from the senior managerial ranks of Network Rail, all earning about £330,000, such as Alex Hynes, who is already running Scotland’s railway as a more integrated system.

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