Competition and contestability review to be chaired by Professor Peter Hansford

Professor Peter Hansford headshot

Network Rail announced today, Wednesday 7 December, that Professor Peter Hansford is to chair an independent review into all barriers that prevent alternative project delivery models.

The announcement follows a speech last week by chief executive Mark Carne where he pledged his commitment to removing any barriers to competition in all elements of delivering projects.

Peter Hansford FREng, has over 40 years’ experience in major infrastructure and building projects in the UK and overseas. He spent 20 years in strategic consulting advising on infrastructure developments and capital investment programmes. He has delivered complex infrastructure projects and has carried out high profile strategic reviews and was previously chief construction advisor to the UK Government.

Peter is currently 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.

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) convened a project group earlier this year to investigate alternative ways to deliver and finance enhancements. The group has representatives from Network Rail, train operating companies and construction contractors and is due to report by the end of the year (2016). This important piece of work will feed into the independent review to be led by Professor Hansford, ensuring it represents the RDG and the whole of the rail industry.

Peter 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.”

The review starts with immediate effect and is due to report in the spring of 2017.