Image Courtesy of Network Rail
Network Rail have revealed in their annual report that more passengers are arriving to their destination on time. The rail industry in Britain has been underinvested for decades, and now Britain is now investing record amounts to ensure it remains fit for purpose as well as accommodate the record number of trains.
However, Network Rail faces some stretching targets in Control Period 5 (CP5, 2014-19) and the pace of improvement is behind expectations. Several regulatory targets were missed and following slippages in the major projects portfolio, chief executive Mark Carne has given a frank assessment to the Department of Transport of what will be achievable in the remaining four years.
Mark Carne said: During my first year in the job I have looked closely at every aspect of our business and it has become clear that Network Rail signed up to highly ambitious five-year targets set by the regulator. Based on historic improvements from a low base, we were overly optimistic about the capacity of our company and our supplier base to step up several gears in order to achieve the plan, especially given the complexities of a network that is at full capacity much of the time.”
In areas such as electrification and capital projects, it was always part of the process to revise the projects as they became properly defined. However, when these reviews occurred, the more detailed projects cost more than the once planned. As a result,the total enhancement programme cost now exceeds the available five-year budget. Some projects have also been delayed beyond their original dates.
Mark Carne added I recognise that these delays will cause disappointment for some passengers for which I can only apologise. I welcome the fact that the Transport Secretary has asked Sir Peter Hendy to work with me and my team to develop proposals for re-planning the programme over the next few months.
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