Regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has confirmed John Larkinson as its permanent chief executive officer, following a public competition and the endorsement of the prime minister.
He had been interim CEO since October 2018, taking over from Joanna Whittington.
The ORR said it is ‘protocol’ for an appointment by its board to a role at this level to be endorsed by the prime minister.
Its chair, Declan Collier, said: ‘I want to thank John for the excellent work he has done as interim CEO through an extended and really challenging period. We welcome the opportunity to now continue to draw on his experience and expertise as he takes on the permanent role.’
Mr Larkinson said: ‘I look forward to continuing to work with the rail and road industries, ensuring that the ORR delivers its role to protect the public interest.’
Mr Larkinson is an economist by background and has spent most of his career across a range of transport-related posts in consultancy and in central government, including as director of network regulation and affordability at one of the ORR’s predecessors as rail industry regulator, the Strategic Rail Authority.
He joined the ORR in 2005 and has been director of railway markets and economics and director of planning and performance. He has been a member of the ORR Board since March 2017.
The ORR, which is also Highways England’s ‘monitor’, is a statutory body with powers vested in its board by Parliament. Its board members are appointed by the secretary of state for transport for a fixed term of up to five years.