Sir Ian intends to hand over reins as 'company enters a new phase'

The chairman of Network Rail has announced he is to step down from the board.

Sir Ian McAllister, 65, was instrumental in setting up the Network Rail bid team in 2001, and has chaired the London-based company for six years, but confirmed on Friday that he will not stand for re-election.

McAllister, who played a key role in taking Railtrack out of administration in October 2002, said it is time for somebody else to take charge.

“As the company enters a new phase in its development, it is entirely appropriate that a new chairman helps take the company forward,” he said.

“I have led the board for over six years now, and a great deal has been achieved in that time,” he added.

In addition, Ron Henderson, group finance director, announced his retirement.

Three new executive directors were appointed to the board of Network Rail two weeks ago.