Network Rail Southern region has confirmed the appointment of Fiona Taylor as route director for Kent in a restructure focused on improving passenger experience.

It follows the announcement earlier this year of Network Rail’s plans to put passengers and freight users first, recognising the need to get closer to our customers and local stakeholders and be more responsive.

Fourteen new routes, which make up five new regions, are now live and take responsibility for operations, maintenance and minor renewals in their areas, as well as managing the day-to-day delivery of train performance in partnership with train operating companies.

The Kent route forms part of the Southern Region, which also includes three other routes, High Speed, Sussex and Wessex.

The announcement is part of phase one of the Putting Passengers First programme, which provides the framework for further phased changes to be introduced through to summer 2020, subject to consultation.

John Halsall, managing director, Southern region, said: “We have created the Southern region to deliver excellent customer service every day by running safe and efficient train services for passengers and freight customers.

“We help get thousands of commuters to work every day, bringing people closer to their families and supporting businesses across our network and beyond. The Putting Passengers First programme gives us the opportunity to do all this even more effectively, bringing us closer to our customers and making us more responsive to their needs.

“I am looking forward to working with this extremely talented and committed leadership team as we continue our journey to put passengers and freight customers first.”

Kent’s new route director Fiona Taylor comes with a wealth of experience. Until recently, she was Managing Director of RATP Dev's London bus business and has previously worked in senior roles in Network Rail, including as Station Strategy Director and Route Managing Director for Kent and High Speed.

Fiona Taylor, route director, Kent said: “I am thrilled to be coming back to Network Rail – it’s a fantastic opportunity to help make journeys easier and more convenient for the thousands of travellers who use the railway in Kent and London every day.

“I am looking forward to helping passengers benefit from a more reliable railway.”