Network Rail regulation and performance

04.06.18

Business owners face closure as Network Rail pushes on with billion-pound asset sale

Business owners based in railway arches around the UK face closure as Network Rail goes ahead with plans to sell off infrastructure assets in a billion-pound sale.

A buyer will purchase all 5,500 arches by the end of the year, which will allow tenants to remain. Yet some business owners have already been forced to close due to rents enforced by Network Rail.

Network Rail have said that rent reviews happen periodically as part of normal business and are not connected in any way to the sale, and no business has experienced a rent increase anywhere near the amount stated – arguing the majority (85%) of rent reviews are agreed at an increase of 10% or less.

Deputy head of media at Network Rail Paula Whitworth said: "We are proud to have so many small, diverse, independent businesses thriving on our property estate – of the 4,455 arch spaces that we let out, fewer than 30 are directly let to national chains – and we don’t want that to change.

"We want to retain good tenants and when the time comes to review rents we always work with businesses to come up with solutions that work for them, including stepped increases to help them manage any changes. Once the sale is completed all current leases and arrangements will transfer to the new owner and be protected."

Action group Guardians of the Arches has been set up to combat the plans to sell the arches to private firms. On its website, the group says: “We are already under huge pressure from Network Rail. Some of us have already been forced to close. Others have had to move out of places they’ve been doing business in for decades, with terrible consequences for their own businesses and for the places and communities they have had to leave behind.

“This has to stop. It’s easy to forget this, but Network Rail is publicly owned. And the land it owns is public too.

“That means they have a responsibility to serve the public good. They say the government is forcing them to balance the books, so they have to sell off their assets – including the arches. But how many small businesses will go under as a result? Is that really serving the public good?”

But a spokesman for Network Rail told Sky News: “The sale of Network Rail's arches will enable the company to raise funds to improve the railway network for the benefits of millions of daily users.

“Some areas have seen marked regeneration in recent years which can lead to increased rents but we will always do our best to stagger any increase.”

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Cross-party calls for Glasgow airport rail link to be delivered ‘as matter of urgency’

22/01/2019Cross-party calls for Glasgow airport rail link to be delivered ‘as matter of urgency’

The proposed rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre must be built “as a matter of urgency,” a... more >
Rail company in bid to build multi-million-pound rail depot near Ipswich station

22/01/2019Rail company in bid to build multi-million-pound rail depot near Ipswich station

Rail company Freightliner has revealed that it is hoping to build a new multi-million pound depot for its trains just ou... more >
Porterbrook awards £11m contract to modify new digital Heathrow Express fleet

22/01/2019Porterbrook awards £11m contract to modify new digital Heathrow Express fleet

Porterbrook has unveiled a £11m contract with Bombardier to modify 12 Class 387 trains in preparation for their us... 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 TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

22/01/2019Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

techUK recently published its Future Mobility Services report in which it presented its vision of a multimodal, digitally-enabled, and customer-focused transport ecosystem – with the rail sector forming a major part of this. Jessica Russell, techUK’s programme manager for the Transport and Smart Cities groups under SmarterUK, repor... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

22/01/2019ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

Track engineer Dan Collins explains how an app and an iPad are transforming track maintenance in Network Rail’s Western route. Carryin... more >
Siemens Deep Tube: Keeping London moving

22/01/2019Siemens Deep Tube: Keeping London moving

Paul Baines, sales director for rolling stock at Siemens Mobility Ltd, expands on the many benefits of the £1.5bn Deep Tube rolling stock c... more >
Guarding against the theft of survey equipment

22/01/2019Guarding against the theft of survey equipment

The high value of survey equipment used to collect geospatial data on the railways is increasingly attractive to opportunistic criminals. The Sur... more >
ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

15/01/2019ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

Ahead of CP6, Howard Taylor, cost manager of railway planning and performance at the ORR, dives deep into the regulator’s assessment of wha... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >