Rail network has ‘deteriorated’ despite fare increases and large executive salaries


The performance levels of Network Rail, the taxpayer-funded authority responsible for Britain’s rail network, have deteriorated further in recent months despite rail passengers facing six more years of above-inflation fare rises.

network-railIn its latest analysis of rail performance, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) highlighted:

  • Deteriorating performance on key parts of the rail network in England and Wales. Overall punctuality on long distance services was 88.3% and for London and South East services was 91.4%, well adrift of funded targets. Admirable flood recovery responses on parts of the network did help to ease passenger disruption.

  • Areas of poor management of the railways. Passengers suffered from some substantial over-runs of engineering works during the festive period. There were also several instances of basic operational planning mistakes causing delays.

According to the report, Network Rail has also fallen short of its 92 per cent long distance punctuality target that it has been funded to deliver by 2013-14.

And yet this hasn’t stopped inflation-busting fair increases. Rail fares increased by an average of 4.3% in January as new prices for season tickets come into effect for 2013.

Labour has promised to consider bringing the national rail network back under public ownership as part of its policy review

This month Network Rail bosses waived their bonuses after pressure from MPs. However they still receive ‘basic’ salaries which run into hundreds of thousands of pounds:

Annual basic salaries of executive directors for 31 March 2012:

£
David Higgins 560,000
Patrick Butcher 382,000
Robin Gisby 360,000
Peter Henderson 440,000
Simon Kirby 360,000
Paul Plummer 338,000
This entry was posted in Public Services for All and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
  • Lobbyist

    Bizarre article. You’ve linked two very different issues – infrastructure provision and train fares. There is no formula linking the two (whether there ought to be is another issue).

    Fares are in the main determined by a government formula. The train companies in reality have little influence over them – most fares are regulated, the ones that aren’t are tied closely to revenue promises they’ve made over the life of their government-awarded franchise

    On the one hand you’re berating the poor quality of (publicly owned) Network Rail, and then suggest that making the rest of the railway follow that model with Labour’s plan is some sort of solution to fares.

    Passengers are already compensated for poor performance by Network Rail or train companies through a pretty generous compensation scheme. It’s just that most don’t bother to take advantage of it.

    Thought this was supposed to be ‘evidence based blogging’.