Tuesday 6 Dec 2016
Response to UK government announcement re reform of rail
Network Rail has provided a response to the UK government's announcement today.
Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail said:
“We strongly welcome these plans to bring more joined up working within the industry. We have already devolved Network Rail into route-based businesses closer to customers, and the proposals announced today will build on the alliances we have created between these route businesses and train operators. We also strongly believe there should be better alignment of incentives between train companies and Network Rail. That is why we now align the performance incentives for all of Network Rail’s 35,000 staff, around targets agreed jointly with train operators. But more needs to be done across the industry.
“Network Rail’s published transformation plan is moving us to being a public sector body that acts like a private business, with a clear focus on what customers want.”
Mark Carne also welcomed the announcement of East West Rail:
“Competition must be at the heart of any organisation that wants to behave like a private sector business. Competition breeds efficiency and innovation and will further encourage our own teams to push aside the barriers holding them back. That is also why I announced last month that Professor Peter Hansford will chair an independent review into the barriers to competition in all elements of delivering rail engineering projects.”
Last month Mark Carne also announced the creation of Boards for each of the devolved route businesses, involving passenger representatives. These boards will oversee the running of the railway in their area.
He said at the time: “Passengers deserve a railway focussed on their needs, to create economic growth, for job creation and housebuilding, and that's what we're working hard at.”
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 38,000 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.