I would like to respond to your news story about Network Rail 'Difcult client and tight margins force rms to quit rail sector' (NCE, 10 May). The article presents a picture that I simply do not recognise.
Network Rail makes no apologies for seeking best value in working with our contractors, consultants and other suppliers. We have a responsibility to ensure that we make the railways better for the passenger in a way that is cost-effective for the taxpayer.
Indeed, our regulator, the ORR, requires us to reduce costs by 31% by the end of our current control period in 2009.
In fact, we believe our drive to reduce costs promotes innovative engineering practices, such as the deployment of modular switches and crossings and new ideas that will reduce the time of our track possessions.
We value our relationships with suppliers and appreciate their innovative ideas. We continue to work ever more closely with our suppliers with a shared aim of delivering the vital improvements the railway needs.
One way we can achieve this is with the development of our new supplier account management programme. This gives contractors a dedicated contact at Network Rail to ensure that business needs are met.
There has never been a more exciting time to work on the railway. The record investment in recent years means even more opportunities for our suppliers. We are investing billions of pounds to improve the infrastructure and meet the demands of the 21st century rail user.
Our focus is to renew and enhance the railway to deliver our commitments for the future through increased efciency and value for money.
Simon Kirby, director, Major Projects & Investment, Network Rail, 40 Melton St.
London NW1 2EE