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Network Rail reveals structural changes in major efficiency drive

Network Rail today began to reveal the full extent of its plan to change the way it delivers capital projects, in a move to make efficiencies in its investment programme and become a more engaged and defined client.

Work that was previously the responsibility of Network Rail Investment Projects will now be handled between a core National Strategy and Planning team for multi-route, national or highly complex schemes. The majority of other projects will be delivered by client-oriented teams, which are devolved into 10 regional teams (see box below).

The firm has also said it will increase its partnering approach to the supply chain, engaging them earlier, and said it will endeavor to “operate as a ‘client’ that clearly understands, defines, specifies and fixes output requirements and engages with delivery organisations earlier in the project lifecycle”.

One of the biggest changes will be seen as Network Rail tenders some of its lower risk projects to external deliverers to create a competitive element for capital projects delivery.

The internal deliverer will have to become a separate legal entity to enable this to happen. This is planned for 2013, from when — subject to required consents — the internal deliverer will start to bid against other market competitors for some of the Network Rail capital programme, as well as for other UK rail work not on the Network Rail network.

The changes will come into effect in April next year and programme director Ian Ballentine told NCE this week that he envisaged the greatest impact of the savings taking hold in control period 5 (CP5), which will begin in 2014. As a result of the changes, the firm will see 10% redundancies — 4,400 from current headcount — in the Investment Projects workforce by April 2012. Internal staff briefings on the new strategy began last week.

  • See NCE’s 24 November issue for a full interview with Ian Ballentine and Network Rail managing director, investment projects Simon Kirby.
RouteMain officeRoute managing
KentLondonFiona Taylor
SussexCroydonMark Ruddy
WessexWokingRichard O’Brien
AngliaLondonDave Ward
WesternSwindonPatrick Hallgate
WalesCardiffMark Langman
London North WestManchesterJo Kaye
East MidlandsDerbyMartin Frobisher
London North EastYorkPhil Verster
ScotlandGlasgowDavid Simpson

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