Rail franchises operators & contracts

05.06.18

Network Rail chair says ‘maybe he should’ resign over rail crisis

The chair of Network Rail has said maybe he should resign over mounting pressure from MPs and the public after chaos caused by unprecedented delays and cancellations on the nation’s railways.

Sir Peter Hendy has said his company was “working really hard” to rectify the nightmare-like disruption on Northern, Greater Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Greater Northern lines amongst others, and apologised to passengers affected by the failed new timetable implementation on 20 May.

Speaking to ITV, when asked whether he felt he should lose his job, Sir Peter said: "Maybe I should, maybe somebody should, but actually the important thing for the moment is to keep on trying to fix it."

Transport secretary Chris Grayling laid the blame at the feet of the rail providers and Network Rail, arguing there were major failures from operators who promised to deliver changes to lines in time but were unable to do so.

GTR’s disruptions were caused due to the timetable developed with Network Rail being “very late to be finalised,” and train operators did not have enough time to roster sufficient staff or complete crew training.

With Northern, Grayling blamed Network Rail yet again: timetables fluctuated because “Network Rail did not deliver infrastructure upgrades on time” and each provider lacked a considerable fallback plan — despite telling the government that they were ready to implement changes, Grayling noted.

“Ultimately, the solution can only be delivered by the rail industry,” Grayling said. “These problems can only be fixed by Network Rail and the train operators methodically working through the timetable and re-planning train paths and driver resourcing to deliver a more reliable service.”

Providers Northern, GTR, and Greater Northern are now running on temporary smaller schedules in an effort to stabilise services. Transport secretary Chris Grayling announced yesterday evening that passengers will receive compensation for issues caused by the chaotic rail system, and an inquiry will also be launched. 

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