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

Despite inflation-busting fair increases and big salaries for its executives, a report by the Office of Rail Regulation has produced a damning report on the state of the railways.

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.

In 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
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