Latest Rail News

10.06.13

ORR steps in as Network Rail misses every punctuality target

Network Rail missed all of its punctuality targets for passenger services in England and Wales in 2012-13, a new performance assessment by the ORR shows.

The regulator is investigating whether Network Rail did everything ‘reasonably practicable’ to deliver targets on long-distance and London and South East sectors. A financial penalty of £1.5m per 0.1 percentage point it drops below 92% punctuality target has already been specified if Network Rail fails to deliver targets at the end of March 2014.

The reliability of Network Rail’s information about the condition of track and assets has also been criticised, and the ORR is considering introducing regulated targets to increase the pace of improvement.

A backlog of maintenance work on some routes is also contributing to poor performance, the report states.

However, Network Rail’s handling of the Olympic Games last summer and strong performance in Scotland were recognised. Network Rail is also on track to deliver its planned programme on enhancements to the network.

ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “Network Rail has contributed a lot to the successes of the railways over the past year. With the wider rail industry, the company delivered excellent levels of performance under the global spotlight of the 2012 London Olympics. It has also shown it can deliver these high standards consistently throughout the year in Scotland, where passengers have enjoyed excellent levels of punctuality.

“However, levels of punctuality for passenger services in England and Wales remain below what Network Rail has been funded to achieve. The company has some catching-up to do to get itself back on course by the time new and, in some areas, more stretching performance targets are introduced for its next funding period between 2014-19.”

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