Network Rail could be fined over poor performance

Hotel News - 03/11/2011

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Officials from the Office of Rail Regulation said that the organisation’s infrastructure has continued to fall apart despite warnings issued earlier in the year. Now regulators are deciding if Network Rail has breached statutory license conditions, which could mean a multi-million pound penalty.

The company has faced fines of a similar magnitude in the past; in early 2008 it was forced to pay £14 million after 250,000 commuters’ journeys were disrupted when Network Rail failed on completing engineering maintenance within its set deadline.

ORR chief executive Richard Price has recently sent a letter to the company’s management urging a “step change in performance” in regards to punctuality figures. He said to Network Rail chief David Higgins that the regulatory body recognised that external factors and cable thefts had caused a substantial rise in disruptions but added that it still did not explain extensive underperformance.

Meanwhile, the director of network operations for Network Rail, Robin Gisby, defended the firm by saying that over the last few years that UK railways have seen some of the best on-time performance in Europe with some 90 per cent of all services arriving on schedule.

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