The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has slammed Network Rail for 'weaknesses in the planning and execution' of the troubled Portsmouth resignalling scheme and found it to have breached its licence conditions.
ORR chief executive Bill Emery said, 'Network Rail needs to do more to avoid prolonged, unplanned disruption to passengers. At Portsmouth, it failed to take adequate account of the risks involved and the potential effect on train operators and passengers.'Network Rail needs to improve its planning and its management of contractors to minimise the risk of resignalling overruns. It must have in place better contingency plans which have been developed in partnership with train operators and which minimise the impact of resignalling overruns if they occur,' he said.Work on the scheme was due to complete in early 2007, but work is ongoing. Main contractors is Siemens Transportation Systems The ORR has asked Network Rail to provide further information on the costs for the problems at Portsmouth, and the company may face a financial penalty for the breach of condition seven of its licence.