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14.09.15

No CP5 project will be immune from Hendy review, DfT confirms

The Department for Transport has published the terms of reference for the review being carried out by Network Rail’s new chair, Sir Peter Hendy, into the deliverability of its CP5 enhancements programme.

It has confirmed that “all CP5 enhancements projects and programmes are in scope for this review, including those included in the Investment Framework and ringfenced funds”.

Hendy is being asked to “re-plan” the delivery of the £12bn enhancements programme for the entire control period to make sure the overall budget is not bust, that the right projects are prioritised, and that work “that cannot be afforded, or is not deliverable” is reprofiled for a subsequent control period instead.

His review does not have a publication date, though the government says it will be done “this autumn”. RTM has asked the DfT for an update on that.

The confirmation that ‘everything is on the table’, even confirmed projects, has worried the Network Rail supply chain and campaigners who had hoped individual upgrades were safe.

We reported earlier this month that key suppliers including Atkins and Siemens Rail Automation were calling for an end to the uncertainty.

Philip Hoare, head of the Transportation division at Atkins, covering rail and highways, told RTM there should be an “industry call-to-arms” to end the mixed messages. “There’s no doubt – as an industry and as an organisation – that we’re worried about the impact of the various reviews into Network Rail,” he said.

Paul Copeland, managing director at Siemens Rail Automation UK, said that if the railway signalling sector contracts as a result of changes at Network Rail “we would lose skilled and experienced staff to other industry sectors…This would have a long-term effect on the industry and its ability to deliver future projects such as HS2 and Crossrail 2.”

We then surveyed other suppliers via Twitter to ask whether they shared the concerns about what the Hendy review might say, and many said they did:

Others said the review was necessary:

Passenger groups in particular areas have expressed worries that their local enhancements projects might be curtailed or scrapped, such as GOBLIN (Gospel Oak to Barking Line) electrification, and Ore to Ashford (Marshlink Line) electrification: 

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP wrote to Commons transport select committee chair Louise Ellman MP announcing the publication of the Hendy review terms of reference, having made a promise to do so at his appearance before the committee in July.

David Sidebottom, passenger director at the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: "Long-term plans and investment are important and welcome, and passengers have put up with much inconvenience in the expectation of a better, more reliable, and more comfortable rail service.

"The review will bring some welcome clarity for them on what they can expect to experience over the next few years. What passengers will want now is a clear plan of action, setting out exactly when Network Rail will start to deliver some of the promised improvements."

The terms of reference for the other reviews into Network Rail, the Shaw Report and the Bowe Review, have already been published.

Comments

Neil Palmer   14/09/2015 at 23:19

This is a nasty vicious little circle - a self-fulfilling prophecy. Cost overruns and missed delivery schedules cause held projects and reviews, which cause contraction in the supply chain, which causes further cost overruns the missing of rescheduled deadlines.

John   15/09/2015 at 11:39

None of the Politicians have the slightest idea of what they are doing! Putting pressure on and equally indifferent Network Rail won't work either -except to cause furhter delays, cancellations and cost overruns!

Pedr   15/09/2015 at 19:32

It is ludicrous that the Ffestiniog Railway is currently reported to be the second largest railway carriage manufacturer in Britain....unless things have changed lately (we hope they have).

Tim Walcy   16/09/2015 at 14:56

What goes around comes around. Suppliers been extracting the Michael with their fees for years, particularly signalling. Now they're being told Network Rail is running out of money for their future projects. Fancy that.

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