Network Rail Southern region has confirmed the appointment of Mark Killick as route director for Wessex 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 Wessex route forms part of the Southern Region, which also includes three other routes, Kent, High Speed and Sussex.

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.”

Wessex’s new route director Mark Killick comes with a wealth of experience in the rail industry. He has  held several senior operational leadership roles, including area director and chief operating officer.

Mark, who will be responsible for 1,500 staff, said: “I’m very pleased to have been appointed route director for Wessex. I’m looking forward to working closely with our partners and customers to make the railway better and to building on our collaborative work with SWR to improve the journeys of the thousands of people who use the train services on our route every day.”