Network Rail chief executive to quit at crucial transition point

Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins is expected to step down next year, according to reports from a Sky News editor.

Higgins has been in the role since February 2011 and is reportedly planning to step down after the transition to the next five year control period in spring 2014. Sky reports that a search for his replacement is underway and a headhunting firm would be appointed immediately.

Higgins came under fire in May after receiving a £99,000 bonus on top of his £577,000 salary despite the company failing to meet all of its performance targets.

Citing a source close to the situation, Sky News reported that chairman Richard Parry-Jones had asked Higgins to commit to the role for the bulk of the next funding period, which he declined to do. However, the departure is "entirely amicable".