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NCE Live News Updates Thursday 31 October: Network Rail to make do with £21bn in next five year funding period

Network Rail will get about £1.7bn less than it says its needs to run Britain’s railways between 2014 and 2019 in the funding settlement for the period being announced today.

11am: The UK government has today signed up to the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), aimed at improving value for money of infrastructure projects globally through more transparent procurement processes.

The government’s commitment to CoST is included in today’s publication of the National Action Plan.

It says that the UK government will promote the principles of transparency and accountability in all government-funded construction projects in the domestic and international arenas, including, in the period up until 2015:

  • working with others in government and civil society to identify suitable projects for the application of the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) in the UK
  • using its bilateral and multilateral relationships to encourage the establishment of at least four new national CoST programmes in countries where DFID is working

The ICE, Integrity Action and Engineers Against Poverty, together with the CoST UK multi-stakeholder group, welcomed the “crucial” decision.

“The commitment to support CoST on a domestic level, in addition to promoting the initiative on an international basis, will enable us to improve governance whilst improving management and efficiency in the delivery of public sector construction projects and programmes,” they said. “Ultimately, it will help to ensure that communities and individuals see public money invested more wisely, and benefit from improved construction and infrastructure outcomes.”


10am: The Office of Rail Regulation has told Network Rail that it will have to make do with around £21bn in the next five year funding period that begins next April.

It means Network Rail will get about £1.7bn less than it says its needs to run Britain’s railways between 2014 and 2019.

At the start of the year, Network Rail said it needed about £24bn but the regulator said the company is capable of saving £1.7bn.

This equates to a 20% cut in the cost of running the network. Network Rail had previously said a target of 18% was achievable.

The regulator has approved more than £12bn worth of enhancements to Britain’s rail network to ease congestion and improve performance on the railways. But it has noted that within this, projects totalling more than £7bn do not yet have clear delivery plans or costs and it is giving Network Rail until March 2015 to work up efficient plans for these enhancements before approving the funds.

More here.



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