Major rail electrification works are to be suspended amid concerns that Network Rail is failing to deliver projects on time and on budget, the government has announced.
Electrification work in the Midlands, and on the Trans-Pennine route between Leeds and Manchester will be “paused”, said transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin as he added the rail infrastructure operator and owner must focus its efforts on getting the Great Western line electrification right.
It has also been announced that Network Rail chair professor Richard Parry-Jones will step down in July to be replaced by Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy. Former Eurostar chair Richard Brown will also be appointed as a special director of Network Rail, to report to the transport secretary. None of the organisation’s directors will receive bonus payments for the past year.
McLoughlin pointed to issues such as supply and planning, but added that there could be “no excuse” as these difficulties could and should have been foreseen by Network Rail.
As a result, the current £38.5bn five year spending plan would now need to be rethought.
Read the statement in full here.