HS2

13.02.18

Network Rail unveils ‘radical’ CP6 plan with aim to drop delays by 15%

Network Rail has released its much-anticipated Strategic Business Plan for CP6, with plans including a 15% drop in delays across the network and a commitment to hire 50% more women over the five-year period.

The programme covers all of NR’s operations between 2019 and 2024 and focuses heavily on improving safety, both for passengers and staff.

However, in comparison to previous control periods, there is a noticeable lack of new major projects detailed in the plan, with the organisation more heavily focusing on general improvements and completing current schemes.

This is likely because new projects are expected to be dealt with directly by the Treasury as business cases are presented to Network Rail. It is also in line with Chris Grayling’s announcement last year that new investment will include a completely separate funding process for major upgrades.

Mark Carne, outgoing CEO of the organisation, said the plan is a “turning point” in the organisation’s history as it slowly transitions into a “federation of devolved businesses operating within a national framework.”

“This is a radical plan, an ambitious plan,” he said. “It is not without challenge and risk. But with great people, great teams, the right quality of leadership, the right incentives and the determination to see it through, it can deliver the better railway that a better Britain needs.”

Of the £48bn total initially allocated to Network Rail in October, the plan details £47bn of spending split between previously agreed enhancement projects, renewals and operations and maintenance – with the final £1bn saved for some smaller infrastructure projects.

Carne said that both renewals and maintenance/operations would receive around £18.5bn of spending, while the final £10bn would go towards completing projects.

He explained that one of the major changes between CP5 and CP6 would be Network Rail’s approach to renewals, which he said was one of the “failures” of the previous plan.

Renewals are now going to be dealt with through a phased delivery model, meaning there will be contracts sent out over a longer period so as not to “overload the supply chain” early in the process.

The one major project which has been put forward is the upgrade of TransPennine network, already in the pipeline but confirmed as part of the CP6 plan.

In terms of specific targets, Network Rail is aiming to reduce the general risk of accidents to passengers by 10% over this period by implementing new digital safety technologies. It also expects to be able to reduce the risk of accidents on level crossings by 13% and halve time lost to workforce due to injuries by the end of the plan.

The infrastructure owner will also be trying to drive efficiency by decreasing the improvement cost per passenger kilometre by around 10%, building on the 40% total achieved across CP4 and CP5.

It comes alongside commitments to bring in 50% more women to work in the organisation over the five-year period and pledge to implement “gender-balanced recruitment.”

ORR assessment changes

Today’s news was coupled with proposals by the ORR to change the way it will assess efficiency and performance nationally.

Explaining the changes, John Larkinson, director of railway markets and economics, said the regulator supported Network Rail’s changes but needed to “shine a light” on whether the organisation is delivering efficiency.

“A big change in CP6 is that we will be making more comparisons between the eight geographical areas that Network Rail has split its network into,” he explained. “This, in turn, provides a strong reputational incentive for it to become more efficient.”

In addition to these changes, the ORR will also put more focus on assessing the type of work Network Rail is completing and whether specific projects bring value to passengers.

The CP6 plan will be overseen by Mark Carne until the beginning of the control period, but the chief executive is set to step away from his role after that, following four years in the position.

Top image: PA Images

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Alan Robinson   13/02/2018 at 12:36

Eh? ... "improving safety, both for passengers and patients"? So NR is to tender for NHS contracts, then?

Malcolm Dymott   13/02/2018 at 14:01

Disappointing that seems to be little detail about people, other than their diversity and health. The railway industry as a whole is rather short of experienced staff. Network Rail have made a start on addressing this - Westwood is full of apprentices. However a bit surprising I did not spot targets to achieve defined numbers of specialist staff in the plan. I was thinking of roles such as signaling testers, overhead wire experts (designers, installers, maintainers), possession planners, . . . (there are plenty more) . . . all the not very exciting people you need to deliver a railway that works and affordable renewals and upgrades. This is all the more difficult to get right in an organization with a string focus on routes rather than engineering disciplines. Sorry to sound pessimistic but if there is not an adequate base of staff with the right skills, I think we may all be a bit disappointed with the results at the end of "CP6".

Adrian N   13/02/2018 at 16:33

#Alan Robinson - has "patients" been corrected to read "staff"? If so a Freudian slip rather than an NHS tendering strategy!

Sonning Cutting   13/02/2018 at 17:34

Many have been arguing for strengthening of our existing assets to complement the building of HS2, and this appears to be what is planned. The East Coast main-line for one is clearly in need of some TLC , as well as the Brighton Line!

OLE Bob   13/02/2018 at 20:52

 “It is not without challenge and risk. But with great people, great teams, the right quality of leadership, the right incentives and the determination to see it through, it can deliver the better railway that a better Britain needs.” Network Rail have none of these things. We know where this is heading....

Lutz   14/02/2018 at 07:15

Wrong URL? Correct URL: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are/publications-resources/strategicbusinessplan/

Noam Bleicher   14/02/2018 at 08:48

Malcolm, increasing diversity will make it easier to recruit in all disciplines, by widening the pool from which recruits are drawn.

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

DfT confirms Northern Powerhouse Rail business case delayed until 2019

12/12/2018DfT confirms Northern Powerhouse Rail business case delayed until 2019

The strategic outline business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), which was due to be submitted to the government by the end of this month,... more >
TfL shelves plans for Tube upgrades as financial woes revealed

12/12/2018TfL shelves plans for Tube upgrades as financial woes revealed

Plans to upgrade major parts of London Underground will be put on hold and Crossrail 2 is now in doubt after TfL has disclosed the extent of its ... more >
Hitachi and Spencer Group join forces for £500m Tyne and Wear Metro deal bid

12/12/2018Hitachi and Spencer Group join forces for £500m Tyne and Wear Metro deal bid

Hitachi and Spencer Group have launched a joint bid to win a £500m contract to build new trains and a maintenance depot for the Tyne and We... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >