Tuesday 23 Sep 2003

NETWORK RAIL PUBLISHES COST SUBMISSION TO REGULATOR

Region & Route:
National
Network Rail has published its Cost Submission to the interim review of track access charges currently being undertaken by the Office of the Rail Regulator.  The submission – effectively Network Rail’s request for funding for the next five years - analyses the likely impact on costs and performance of the recent proposals from the Rail Regulator and the SRA. The paper, which takes on board the combined impact of implementing certain proposals from the ORR and SRA, concludes that Network Rail should spend £24.5bn over the next five years, a reduction of £5 billion compared to the previous forecast published in June.  Today’s Cost Submission confirms that train punctuality will reach 90% at the end of this period. The £5 billion expenditure saving is in addition to the £5.5bn efficiency savings announced in June.  This means that, in total, Network Rail has reduced April 2004 – March 2009 projected expenditure by £10.5bn, or 30%. The new spending reductions are primarily achieved in two ways: ·                    A two-year deferral of some renewals, in line with the emerging conclusions of the Rail Regulator. ·                    A differentiated approach to network outputs which allows for savings to be made in both maintenance and renewal expenditure on the more lightly-used routes, in line with the Strategic Rail Authority’s draft Network Output Specifications document. - more - Cost Sub - 2 Discussions with both the ORR and SRA concerning the West Coast Mainline Upgrade project are ongoing. Speaking upon publication of the Cost Submission, Network Rail Chief Executive John Armitt, said: “Network Rail today publishes our funding request for the next five years, delivering savings of £1bn a year compared to the previous forecast.  The new forecast takes on-board many of the recent proposals from the SRA and ORR.  This consensus on the way in which we might achieve affordable spending is indicative of the constructive way in which the whole interim review process is being managed. “The cost proposals we publish today represent value for money and demonstrate Network Rail’s commitment to efficiency and affordability on the railway.” For illustrative purposes, the Cost Submission also models the impact of deferring renewals beyond two years.  The paper concludes that this would begin to have a significant negative impact on performance, roughly halving the rate of performance improvement.  Under this model, 90% punctuality would not be achieved until 2012/13, rather than 2008/09 under Network Rail’s proposed ‘base plan’.

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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.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 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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