Missing the milestones
Network Rail’s high number of missed milestones has raised serious questions about its ability to deliver future projects on time, according to a report from the Office of Rail and Road.
[Network Rail’s five-year plan way off track in first year, regulator warns, Gwyn Topham, The Guardian, 12 June 2015]
The ORR report showed that more than a third of the “milestones” in major enhancement projects had been missed, failing to reach 30 out of 84 targets in the first year of the 2014-19 plan.
Richard Price, the chief executive of ORR, said that Network Rail had “systemic issues”, including wide discrepancies in how it measured its work and kept track of the state of the railway, as well as problems in planning and management structures – issues it had tried to deny in the past. Price said that Mark Carne, who took over as Network Rail’s chief executive a year ago, “recognises all of these points”.
The electrification of the Midland mainline – described by Network Rail as “critical to delivering a reliable and sustainable railway and tackling overcrowding” on the line from London to Sheffield – could now be axed.