The Office of Rail and Road has approved Network Rail’s plan to spend £35bn making Britain’s railways more reliable and focused on passengers’ needs over the five years from April 2019.
The spending split will be £31bn for England and Wales and £4bn in Scotland.
The regulator has now approved £24.3bn to be spent in Great Britain on maintaining (£7.7bn) and renewing (£16.6bn) the existing railway, with renewal work seeing a 17% increase from the £14.2bn in CP5.
Renewal spend has been lifted after the ORR challenged Network Rail to make more progress towards long-term asset sustainability.
|CP5/CP6 spending plans £m (17/18 prices)|
|England and Wales||Scotland|
For both passengers and freight operators, this will help cut delays caused by infrastructure failures, such as track defects.
The ORR has also confirmed Network Rail’s plans for a significant funding and resource boost for its timetabling and planning functions, with forecast spend almost doubling from around £145m in CP5 to over £270m in CP6.
This part of Network Rail can now employ around 100 new staff from the current total of around 700.
The five-year plans will see Network Rail become much more locally focused, with each of its eight geographic routes having its own budget, delivery plans and scorecards.
|England & Wales geographic route spend, total CP6 (£m)|
|Region||Operations & Maintenance||Renewals||Other||Total|
In addition, ORR has strengthened local routes’ ability to buy goods and services they need locally rather than centrally, where it offers better value for money.
This is part of a shift in approach to give more responsibility to Network Rail’s routes, which are best placed to deliver for local passengers and freight users.
Original Article: www.constructionenquirer.com