Nework Rail performance lambasted


Fiasco: Deserted platforms at London’s Liverpool Street Station during its closure when New Year works over-ran (photo Daily Mail)

(Click picture to read Daily Mail’s Network Rail hands £1.4m bonus bonanza to bosses who presided over delays fiasco.)

An apology to all readers who tried yesterday to download the Transport Select Committee’s Report. After replacing the original picture of the report with a slightly tinted one, the hyperlink was omitted. Now the link should work.

Yesterday we looked at how the Select Committee chided the government for the paucity of its vision and the lack of a proper strategy in the 2007 White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Railway. The Committee were equally critical with respect to the unprecedented breakdown in service faced by passengers during the New Year period.

12. The engineering overruns over New Year were quite simply unacceptable. Much excellent work is done by a large workforce of good and dedicated staff at Network Rail, but the lack of clear procedures, consistency, communication and management controls combine to undermine all these undoubted achievements. The ORR’s careful analysis of events exposes serious management failures.

13. The Government along with the ORR must ensure that the risk of this kind of overrun occurring again—ever—is minimised. The Government, along with the ORR, must monitor closely the progress made by Network Rail over the next year, and examine what structural changes might be required to ensure that Network Rail is capable of managing its projects effectively and consistently.

14. It is quite extraordinary for Network Rail to reward its senior managers with huge financial bonuses in a year where passengers have been humiliated and inconvenienced by three separate major engineering fiascos, where an entire catalogue of management failings has been laid bare for all to see, and where a record fine has been imposed for breach of the Network Licence. It is a gesture which adds insult to injury for the long-suffering passengers who have had to struggle with the consequences of the company’s failings. If Network Rail’s members cannot, or will not challenge and block such a move, they are not a body worth having.

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