Monday 13 Jan 2003

NETWORK RAIL TO TAKE DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAINTENANCE IN THE READING AREA

Route:
National

Network Rail has reached agreement with Amey to take over responsibility for the maintenance of the infrastructure in the "Reading area" when the current contract expires.  The area includes the commuter lines from Reading into Paddington station. An agreement, in principle, has been reached with Amey to transfer the entire operation of inspection and day-to-day maintenance to Network Rail.  Detailed discussions and consultation, including safety case validation, will take place over the next few months, leading to the transfer. Network Rail recognises that benefits will arise from being a well- informed buyer of maintenance services.  In order to achieve a greater understanding of the operations, costs and associated issues of maintenance, Network Rail has decided to assume direct responsibility for all maintenance activities in this area.  Amey has been pleased to cooperate with this change in the interests of furthering the understanding and performance of the network.  Network Rail may consider taking back in-house one or two other contract areas in other parts of the network, should the opportunity arise, where it feels this would contribute to the overall effectiveness of the infrastructure. - more - Reading - 2 In addition, Network Rail is currently introducing a new maintenance programme that will see the key maintenance decisions being made by engineers employed by Network Rail, across the network.  In the future Network Rail will determine what work is done, when it is done and carry out inspections to ensure work is completed to a high standard. Network Rail Chief Executive, John Armitt said: "We are pleased to have this agreement with Amey.  The decision to take back the Reading contract is not a reflection upon Amey as a maintenance provider and they will have the opportunity of bidding for further maintenance work as areas become available on the expiry of existing contracts. “This is a significant step in enabling us to improve the efficiency of maintenance of the rail infrastructure in the future"

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