Wednesday 25 Nov 2015
Largest investment in railways since Victorian times will continue
Sir Peter Hendy today published his review into Network Rail’s five-year funding programme to 2019. Sir Peter has concluded that the majority of the programme can go ahead as planned with extra investment generated primarily from the sale of non-core railway assets.
Announcing the conclusions of his review, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chairman of Network Rail, said: “Passengers and businesses are already benefitting from the largest investment by Government in our railways since Victorian times and that will continue.
“The extra investment secures a Railway Upgrade Plan that delivers better stations, faster, more frequent and longer trains and a safer and more reliable railway for millions of passengers and businesses.
“Working closely with the Department for Transport we have ensured that no infrastructure project has been cancelled and the bulk of the investment programme will be delivered by March 2019.
"Some projects will cost more and take longer than originally expected but we will see the job through to deliver better journeys for passengers. My review has clearly found that the original plan was unrealistic and undeliverable.
"This new Railway Upgrade Plan is a more robust and deliverable plan but it is not without its own risks and challenges which Network Rail will work tirelessly to address."
Sir Peter’s 44-page report gives an overview of the different parts of the country and what will be delivered. An eight-week consultation by the DfT on the report’s findings will start in early December.
Notes to editors:
- In June, Sir Peter Hendy CBE was appointed as the new chairman of Network Rail by the Secretary of State for Transport. He was tasked with reviewing Network Rail’s CP5 (Control Period 5, 2014-19) enhancement portfolio which had seen some significant cost and timescale pressures.
- Sir Peter has now concluded a thorough review of the enhancement programme, and details what can be delivered in a timely and affordable way. The report can be found at www.networkrail.co.uk/hendy-review/ .
- The extra investment has / will come from Network Rail realising £1.8bn from the sale of some of its extensive property portfolio. The Government has also been able to increase the limit on Network Rail’s Government borrowing by a further £700 million . The planned sale of assets will also allow Network Rail to focus on its core task of running the railways
- The Hendy review looked at Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan for England and Wales.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.