Tuesday 4 Apr 2006


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
• BEST TRAIN PUNCTUALITY FOR SIX YEARS • £400 MILLION NEW MONEY TO GROW THE RAILWAY Network Rail today announces an extra £400 million to be spent on growing the railway, following a massive 30% reduction in delays since the creation of the company. Route Director Peter Strachan, said: “Our 2006 Business Plan sets out Network Rail’s ambitious agenda for growing the railway.  Make no mistake – our plans are for a better-performing and more efficient rail network, meeting the aspirations of our customers.” Network Rail’s new money for funding enhancements over the next three years has been made possible as a result of the company beating its targets.  This money will be reinvested in the rail network rather than given to shareholders due to Network Rail’s status as a company limited by guarantee. The new cash pot will fund or part-fund enhancements that will deliver benefits for passengers and freight, helping to grow the railway. Highlights of the 2006 Business Plan:
  • £460 million is being spent on maintaining, operating and renewing the railway in the North West (excluding the Merseyrail network) over the next three years
  • The Lancashire and Cumbria areas have been given a target of a 32% reduction in delay minutes by 2009
  • Further track renewals are planned for the Settle to Carlisle line during May, July and November this year as part of a £58 million investment
  • The £14 million scheme to reconstruct Leven viaduct in Cumbria is due for completion in July 2006
  • Network Rail is working with Lancashire County Council to improve facilities at Colne, Rishton and Nelson stations
  Network Rail Chief Executive John Armitt said: “Network Rail’s strong performance, focus on value for money and status as a company limited by guarantee has allowed us to free up £200 million of new money to spend on growing the railway.  This will be spent on the passengers’ priorities and meeting the needs of our freight customers. We look forward to working with train and freight operators, and other stakeholders, to determine how it can be best spent.” The Business Plan sets out total expenditure on enhancing the network of £2.7bn over the next three years, on top of the £1.3bn enhancement spend in the last two years. There has also been heavy investment by other parts of the rail industry with nearly £5bn invested in rolling stock over recent years This investment will help to support the ever-growing customer demand, with 42% growth in passenger numbers and 58% growth in freight tonnes kilometres over the last ten years and an increase in demand of 30% over the next ten years predicted The Business Plan 2006 also reveals that in the past year: ·         86.4% of trains ran on time, compared with 83.6 % last year – the best performance for six years ·         Network Rail delay minutes were down to 10.6 million, almost one million fewer than last year – and massive 4.1 million better than when Network Rail took control in 2002 – an improvement of 30%
  • A third more rail, sleepers and ballast have been renewed than last year – around 720 miles of new rail, over 530 miles of new ballast and in excess of 650 new sets of points
   John Armitt concluded: “In the last three years we have focussed on getting all the basics right: creating the right structure; improving performance; controlling and reducing costs; developing our people; and being safe in everything we do. I would like to thank our industry partners for their support over this time and look forward to continuing to work with them as we focus our efforts on working together to deliver a growing railway that meets needs of the country.” “Network Rail is now looking forward, looking for new, innovative, and value for money ways to grow the railway to accommodate increasing passenger and freight demand.”

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About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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