Peter Hansford has been tasked with exploring barriers to competition that prevent different ways of working on railway projects. He is professor of construction and infrastructure policy at University College London and he is a past president of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
His report is expected to be completed in spring 2017.
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “We need to act more like a private business with customers’ needs at the heart of everything we do. Led by Peter, this review is due to start immediately and demonstrates mine and the company’s commitment to identify and break down any barriers that currently discourage either third party funding and financing of projects, innovation or new models of delivery.
“Peter has a wealth of experience in delivering complex infrastructure projects and in reviewing them. I’m delighted he’s agreed to head up this important review so that we can find out what we need to do to embrace competition at every stage of a project, and start doing it.”
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) also has a project group looking at alternative ways to deliver and finance rail improvements. This group has representatives from Network Rail, train operating companies and construction contractors and is due to report this month. Its work will feed into the independent review to be led by Peter Hansford.
Prof Hansford said: “I’m delighted to be heading up this important piece of work for the rail industry. Having worked for many years on both delivering and reviewing complex infrastructure projects, I understand the complexities involved to ensure competition is encouraged in order to get the best deal for customers.
“I will be identifying and addressing all barriers – building on the work already underway by the RDG and Network Rail in investigating alternative ways to finance enhancements and reviewing asset protection processes.”