21 January: news in brief

Network Rail put on warning over poor performance

THE Office of Rail and Road has issued a warning to Network Rail over the level of performance in the North West and Central region. As a national average, Network Rail’s contribution to passenger train delay minutes was 58 per cent, a fall of 1.1 percentage points compared with the previous year. But performance in the north ‘remains a concern’, said the ORR, after performance in the area deteriorated in 2018 and failed to recover very much during 2019, when it was 55.7 per cent. As a result, the ORR said it is further investigating the detail of Network Rail’s recently initiated recovery plan and monitoring its effects. On the other hand, Network Rail has managed its best performance of the last five years in Wales and the west of England at 51.4 per cent, and there has been a 24 per cent reduction in passenger train delay minutes attributed to Network Rail in Scotland. However, despite this, the ORR warned that at 50.6 per cent NR ‘remains well below its punctuality targets for both ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper’. Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines responded: ‘For too many months, passengers – particularly in the Midlands and the North – have been coping with very poor train services. It simply isn’t good enough and on behalf of the rail industry, I’d like to apologise. We have let you down. There is no “quick-fix”, but fix it we will and a cross industry task force has been pulled together to tackle the problems head-on. I want them to cut through the red tape and deliver solutions quickly that will bring improvements in the near future. It will need more reliable assets, a much more reliable train plan and more robust operator resource plans.’

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2020/01/21-21-january-news-in-brief.html