Friday 12 Dec 2003

NETWORK RAIL WELCOMES FINAL CONCLUSIONS OF INTERIM REVIEW

Region & Route:
National
Network Rail today welcomed the announcement by the Rail Regulator of the final conclusions of the Interim Review of track access charges. The Office of the Rail Regulator has determined that Network Rail’s expenditure for the next five years (Control Period 3) should be £22.2 billion.  The settlement provides Network Rail with secure, predictable revenues and puts railway finances on a stable long-term footing.  The conclusions are based on extremely challenging targets for improvements in efficiency and performance.  Network Rail has always recognised the need for such improvements. In line with the timetable established by the Regulator, Network Rail will review the conclusions in more detail and reach a formal decision on whether to accept these conclusions in January next year.  On the basis of the allowed level of expenditure, Network Rail will also develop its Business Plan to cover the ten years from April 2004.  This will be published in March 2004. This Interim Review has been conducted with great rigour and in a spirit of close cooperation.  The work of the independent consultants has provided a great deal of in-depth information, which has helped validate Network Rail’s own work on improving efficiency. Network Rail will continue to work closely with the ORR and SRA to finalise the details of the optimum profile of revenue and borrowings over the next five years within the constraints set out in the Regulator’s draft conclusions.  Our views will be submitted to the Regulator at the end of February next year. - more - Review –2 Commenting on the final conclusions, Ian McAllister, Chairman, said; “We welcome the Regulator’s final conclusions and will now be considering in detail our response. “With the publication of the Regulator’s final conclusions, Network Rail has certainty, stability and visibility regarding our future income.  This will enable us to plan properly for the future and work on delivering the very significant improvements in both efficiency and the performance of the railway that the Regulator has set. “The Interim Review also clarifies and reinforces the company’s accountability for these improvements to both our customers and to the Regulator.  Network Rail is determined to rise to the challenge and deliver a rail network which meets the expectations of the travelling public.”

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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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