ORR fines Network Rail £2m after “systemic weaknesses”

Network Rail is facing a £2 million fine following an Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation that found the infrastructure company breached its Network Licence, and which uncovered “inherent and systemic weaknesses” in NR’s performance planning processes in the South East.

Train punctuality for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Southern both fell below levels at which the ORR is required to intervene). 

The ORR says NR “failed to deliver its performance strategy targets in 2014-15” in terms of Public Performance Measure (PPM) for Southern and Cancellations and Significant Lateness (CaSL) for Southern and Thameslink.

At the end of 2014-15, Southern’s PPM Moving Annual Average (MAA) was 83.1% - 4.7 percentage points below its performance strategy target. In terms of CaSL, Southern’s MAA of 4.8% was 1.9 percentage points worse than target and GTR’s figure of 4.3% was 1.3 percentage points below expectations.

The ORR blames Network Rail’s performance modelling, which resulted in a new timetable being implemented in December 2014 as part of the ongoing Thameslink upgrade. NR admitted to the ORR that a number of assumptions it made in timetable modelling were incorrect, that data used in the timetable modelling was flawed, and that data feeding the performance modelling was used before it had been fully validated with “multiple sub-optimal line assignments”.

  • For more on this story see RAIL 781 published on August 19 2015

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