Network Rail refuses to hand over control of rail line
Contract Journal: 11 April 2006
Network Rail (NR) will not transfer responsibility for the electrified parts of the railway in Merseyside to transport authority Merseytravel.
Merseytravel made the proposal for the transfer of the rail assets in Merseyside after the government’s White Paper for the railways last year. The group highlighted the need for more effective local decision making on the local network.
However, Iain Coucher, NR’s deputy chief executive, said: “We believe that the best thing for the rail network in Merseyside is for it to continue to be owned, managed and operated by Network Rail. This ensures that this section of the rail network, and the employees who work on it, continue to reap the benefits of Network Rail’s strong performance, wide experience, and weighty purchasing power.”
He added that NR would now take forward, with Merseytravel, the development of a joint performance improvement plan for the route.
Chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, Neil Scales, said: "The plans we developed with our partners at Merseyrail for the future of our rail system show we could improve performance and save the government over £30m.
“We’re disappointed that Network Rail has decided not to adopt this plan but it's now down to them to show they can match our proposed improvements. If they don't we will be asking the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail Regulation to require them to do so.”