In May 2013 I was invited to speak at a UN conference in Geneva along with Network Rail and the Rail Safety Standards Board from the UK about the work being done in the UK to reduce the risk at level crossings. Compared to other countries, we have one of the lowest number of accidents and fatalities when considering the size of our rail network. It was very interesting to hear what other countries are doing to reduce risk but also to get a flavour of the cultures and attitudes to lives lost.
One significant difference across Europe is that often the highway authorities are also responsible – not just the railway which appears to be the case in the UK. A shift in emphasis to working in partnership with local authorities about level crossings might make closure and upgrades more efficient.
The UN ECE commissioned a short film and asked me to be involved – this is aimed at all stakeholders and will be launched at the International Level Crossing Awareness Day on 3 June. You can watch the video here.
In April I was very honoured to be named as the Management Consultants Association’s (MCA) Change Management Consultant of the Year at their prestigious awards ceremony. Of course I knew I had been short listed which is quite something in itself – the MCA awards are the “Oscars” of the management consultancy industry.
Atkins had been short listed in the Change Project in the Public Sector category too for the project team that went in to help Network Rail set up the level crossing programme. Atkins took a number of clients, including some of the national level crossing team from Network Rail, to the awards dinner and ceremony and of course it turned into quite a celebration when we were named winners in both of the categories we entered!
The entry for me was based on the work I have been doing with Network Rail since Sir David Higgins, the Chief Executive of Network Rail asked me to become their Level Crossing User Champion in July 2011. At the time the company was under investigation from the Office of Rail Regulation following discovery of previously undisclosed risk assessments.
The MCA Award submission can be read here.
The Times sponsors the awards and published a supplement about the winners on 22 May 2014 which can be read here.
The article about me is entitled “the mother who took on Network Rail” which is a little more ‘tabloid’ than I expected but I guess it’s true.
The Sunday Times took a slightly different angle for an article they published on 18 May 2014 which you can read here. The photo was taken soon after the successful prosecution of Network Rail over their failings at Elsenham and an old friend commented “Nice photo – who is the old bird in the background?” So no chance of my success going to my head!