Executive directors


Our staff are divided into directorates and led by a team of Executive Directors.

ORR's leadership team of Executive Directors is responsible for delivering the board's objectives and business plan, in line with our legal duties. They also ensure our people are motivated and equipped to deliver first rate safety and economic regulation, which drives better outcomes for consumers and the public.

John Larkinson

John Larkinson - Chief executive

John was confirmed as Chief Executive at the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in March 2021, having held the interim position since October 2018.  

He has more than 20 years' experience working within the rail industry, working as Director of Network Regulation & Affordability at the Strategic Rail Authority before joining ORR in 2005. 

John's previous roles at ORR include Director of Railway Markets & Economics and Director of Planning & Performance. 

As Chief Executive, he leads ORR in its role to protect the interests of rail and road users. This remit includes: 

  • railway health and safety; 
  • holding Network Rail to account; 
  • ORR's consumer protection functions; 
  • ensuring fair access to the rail network; 
  • industry financial analysis and publishing rail statistics; and 
  • monitoring the efficiency and performance of National Highways.

John is an executive member of the board.

Feras Alshaker

Feras Alshaker - director, planning and performance

Feras is the director of planning and performance, with responsibility for holding Network Rail to account for its performance and its stewardship of the national railway network infrastructure, so as to drive a step change in whole industry performance and efficiency for the benefit of taxpayers, passengers and freight customers who rely on Britain’s railways.

Feras is also responsible for monitoring whether the Government's Road Investment Strategy is being delivered in our role as the independent monitor of National Highways and its management of the strategic road network – the motorways and main 'A' roads in England.

Will Godfrey

Will Godfrey, Director of economics, finance and markets

Will is responsible for the delivery of the periodic review for Network Rail, PR23. He also leads on all aspects of financial and economic analysis as well as ORR’s competition work including market studies and casework. 

Russell Grossman

Russell Grossman - Director of communications

As director of communications, Russell is responsible for furthering ORR’s good relations with staff, stakeholders and the media in explaining how ORR protects the interests of rail and road users, improving the safety, value and performance of railways and roads today and in the future. This includes ensuring alignment between ORR's business strategy and strategic communications, and how communication is used as a tool of effective regulation.

Vinita Hill

Vinita Hill - Director, corporate operations

Vinita is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership across all of ORR's corporate operations, to enable the smooth running of the business, and to ensure ORR is equipped to offer an efficient, effective and value for money service to its stakeholders.

Ian Prosser CBE

Ian Prosser CBE - Director, railway safety

Ian Prosser is the chief inspector of railways and director, railway safety. He is responsible for the work of the Railway Safety Directorate, which strives to ensure duty-holders in the railway industry manage health and safety risks effectively and thus comply with their statutory duties. The Secretary of State appointed him to the Board with effect from 26 September 2008.

Ian is an executive member of the board.

Liz Thornhill

Liz Thornhill - General Counsel

Liz is legal advisor to ORR’s Board and has responsibility for the legal team at the ORR. The team advises across all aspects of ORR's work, providing support and solutions to enable the organisation to operate effectively and efficiently. The team also manages the relationship with external lawyers. 

Stephanie Tobyn

Stephanie Tobyn, Director of strategy, policy and reform

Stephanie is responsible for overall strategic direction in the ORR and our role in rail reform following the ‘Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail’ White Paper.

She also leads on issues around access to the rail network, the licensing of rail operators, international policy, and our role in protecting rail passengers by monitoring and enforcing passenger-facing licence conditions as well as consumer law.

Graham Richards

Graham Richards - Director, TfL analysis

Graham is responsible for examining what role ORR could play in any potential reforms to Transport for London’s (TfL) funding framework. He also leads on a range of specific, bespoke analysis.