Thursday, 24 June 2010

Network Rail - doomed

Whilst Coucher and his board trouser £2.4m in bonuses for a job well done (shurely shome mishtake! Ed) dark clouds are already swirling round NR's CP4 funding settlement.

This from a written answer given on Tuesday 22nd June:

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) rolling stock and (b) highway improvement schemes have been deferred as part of his Department's contribution to in-year expenditure reductions for 2010-11. [2757]

Mr Philip Hammond: In light of the current fiscal position, and a softening of demand, a reappraisal of all un-committed High-Level Output Specification schemes will now commence, taking account of the National Audit Office report entitled "Increasing Passenger Rail Capacity" which was published on 4 June 2010. This report is available on the NAO website.

With the government already planning to unpick Network Rail's regulated settlement how long before the NAO decides that NR debt does indeed belong on the Government's books.

So farewell Network Rail and your grossly overpaid and out of touch board.

And a big Eye welcome to Sir Alan Budd and the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Sadly the new Director General of the Rail Infrastructure Agency will have to get along with a paltry £160k a year.