Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Local authorities sideline stricken Railtrack

News

LOCAL AUTHORITY rail chiefs are bypassing Railtrack as the promoter of rail projects vital to the government's 10 year transport plan, NCE has learned.

One has employed consultants instead and the others are planning to take on the track operator's role themselves.

Three of six Passenger Transport Authorities (PTA) contacted by NCE said that they were replacing Railtrack as the promoter of local rail schemes.

'We are going to miss Railtrack's project management expertise until the government sorts out what is happening with it, ' said Merseytravel director general Neil Scales. 'On some of our schemes such as the Allerton interchange we are going to use consultants instead.'

Keith Howcroft, planning and passenger services director at Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE).

'We should seriously look to take over responsibility for building new rail stations and improving existing ones, ' he said.

Construction of a rail station that GMPTE had project managed at Horwich Parkway in Bolton showed how much more cheaply projects could be done without Railtrack, he added.

This could apply to the 20 new stations needed in Greater Manchester over the next 10 years, he explained.

'Railtrack's commitment has been a problem at times, as has the high cost of using it for design and technical expertise.'

A spokesman at South Yorkshire PTA also said it was bypassing Railtrack on two small station projects in Sheffield and Doncaster and awarding work straight to contractors. But he added that Railtrack was still needed to sign off the work.

'They are struggling to come to terms with that a little bit, ' he said.

A Railtrack spokesman maintained that it still had the expertise to project manage local rail schemes.

INFOPLUS www. railtrack. co. uk

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.