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Network Rail outlines £30bn spending plan

Network Rail unveiled its business plan for 2009-2014 last week, outlining a £30bn spend to upgrade and improve the UK rail network.
The rail operator has also promised halve the costs of running the railway by 2014.
Network Rail's strategic business plan says the track operator will double spending on expansion of the network to £9.6bn, while £11.4bn will be spent on track renewals, signals, structures and stations.

It is hoped the proposed works will give passengers 100,000 extra seats on the rail network every day and drive up punctuality by 92%.

Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher said: "Growth and expansion is where we will focus our efforts in the years ahead and this plan highlights a raft of small, medium and large expansion schemes that will provide passengers and freight users with a bigger, better railway that delivers more trains, more seats, more often."

Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) chief executive Bill Emery said the regulator would now carry out a thorough review of the plan.

"Our assessment of the Strategic Business Plan will continue until June 2008, when we expect to publish our draft determinations on the company's outputs, expenditure and access charges," he said.

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