I write to introduce myself as Network Rail's new Wales route managing director.
I have enjoyed a wide-ranging international career in rail, transport and industry, including senior roles at Transport for New South Wales, Transport for London, and most recently as managing director of the Mass Transit Metro in Hyderabad, India. As a proud Welshman, born and bred in Pembrokeshire, I am delighted to be coming home to lead Network Rail at such an exciting time for our industry.
Over the past decade, passenger numbers have risen by nearly 50% and are set to double again in the years ahead. Meanwhile, new lines and new stations have been opened for the first time in generations and the electrification of the South Wales mainline and our wider railway upgrade plan represents the biggest investment in the network since Victorian times.
Network Rail is a key Welsh employer, employing more than 1,400 people directly across the route and supporting many more jobs through our contractors and supply chain. We are also investing in Wales - spending around £55m annually on maintenance and £725m between 2014 and 2019 renewing and refurbishing infrastructure on the Wales Route.
Establishing the Wales route in 2011 was a major step forward, creating a single Welsh rail entity for the first time. I want to capitalise on the increased commitment to devolution within Network Rail. This will see many more decisions being taken locally and increase accountability to our key stakeholders in Wales and the borders, including representatives of the people and communities who rely on the route.
I very much look forward to working with you in the future. Please do not hesitate to get in touch via my public affairs manager, Sam Hadley, who would be delighted to hear from you should you have any queries.
Wales route managing director