CP5 plans investigated by Public Accounts Committee

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will examine the difficulties in delivering Network Rail’s Control Period 5 (CP5, 2014-2019) investment programme on October 21.

The inquiry will examine current difficulties in delivering the programme, how rail investment is planned, how CP5 differs from the 2009-14 programme (CP4), and the implications of the decision to reclassify Network Rail as a public sector body. It will also investigate how and when concerns about the CP5 programme were raised, and the Government’s response.

Department for Transport Permanent Secretary Philip Rutnam, Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne and Office of Rail and Road Chief Executive Richard Price will all be questioned by the committee. The National Audit Office has submitted a memorandum to provide a factual view of all three bodies’ roles in the planning and delivery of CP5 to the PAC.

PAC Chairman Meg Hillier said: “Rail infrastructure is an area of considerable concern for the PAC. With huge investment planned and multi billion-pound contracts being signed, we need to make sure the taxpayer is getting a good deal on what is much-needed improvement works.

“The decision to pause electrification work on the Midland Main Line and Trans-Pennine rail route, and prioritise on the Great Western Main Line project, has clear implications for taxpayers. The PAC will be holding Network Rail and the Department for Transport to account.”

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