Network Rail – Strategic Business Plans
Network Rail have recently published their Strategic Business Plans. These outline Network Rail’s proposed approach to Control Period 5 (2014-2019).
In the plans Network Rail acknowledge that the benchmarking undertaken by ORR, and subsequently used to legitimise McNulty’s cuts agenda, is deeply flawed and invalid. They also acknowledge that savings will not be achieved through alliancing.
Network Rail have undertaken a bottom-up benchmarking with other European railways, and cite examples from their practices such as infrequent track patrolling in Sweden and 40 minute PTS courses in the Netherlands. RMT have raised concerns over the fact that the company have undertaken a lengthy process of consulting with other European railway operators but not the elected representatives of their own employees.
However, Network Rail still insist on pursuing the targets set by McNulty even though they are based on widely inaccurate figures. RMT identified the problems with the data 2 years ago.
Network Rail aims to achieve 18% efficiencies through measures such as:
· Scotland – there is a proposal to introduce 2 man S&T teams in Scotland specifically.
· Operations cuts – reducing frontline operations workforce of 5600 to less than 1500 by migrating operational management from over 800 locations to 14 modern operating centres. Reducing the numbers of other operations workers by 1200.
· Maintenance cuts – as part of 18% efficiencies reducing maintenance workforce by 8%, or 1250 workers, including 800 track direct employees and making greater use of Tier 2 contractors.
· Safety – streamlining and reducing 1650 safety standards to 100 Executive Rules
· Infrastructure Concession – Network Rail will explore the possibility of introducing an infrastructure concession half way through the control period.
RMT is deeply concerned with the lack of consultation by Network Rail over the proposals. The Office of Rail Regulation will now consult on Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plans. I will keep you informed of any developments.