HC Deb 06 December 1989 vol 163 cc222-3W
Mr. Adley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will announce the appointment of the next chairman of British Rail.

Mr. Parkinson

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Bob Reid to take over the chairmanship of British Rail next year. His distinguished career as a senior manager in private industry will bring valuable experience to bear on the challenges and opportunities which British Rail will face in the next decade.

At the same time, I pay warm tribute to Sir Robert Reid's achievements as chairman over the last six years. He has led British Rail to a new, more commercial approach, with a massive investment programme and more customer-orientated structure. The Government, and the travelling public, owe him a large debt of gratitude.

Mr. Reid's appointment will be for a five-year term, at a salary of £200,000 a year. Mr. Reid will join the board from 1 January as chairman-designate and for a period from 1 April until his responsibilities at Shell come to an end in October, he will be non-executive part-time chairman.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Derek Fowler as deputy chairman for a six-month period next year, and am grateful to him for agreeing to take on this important role. Mr. Fowler, at present vice-chairman and finance member, will become deputy chairman in April to provide continuity and to support Mr. Reid as non-executive chairman. Mr. Fowler has made a valuable contribution throughout his long service on the board, and this extension will make a fitting final stage in his career, to the benefit of British Rail.