Network Rail Chairman Sir Peter Hendy has confirmed that the majority of the five-year funding programme (to 2019) enhancement projects can “go ahead as planned with extra investment generated primarily from the sale of non-core railway assets”.
Hendy said: “Passengers and businesses are already benefiting from the largest investment by Government in our railways since Victorian times, and that will continue.
“The extra investment secures a Railway Upgrade Plan that delivers better stations, faster, more frequent and longer trains, and a safer and more reliable railway for millions of passengers and businesses.”
This extra investment will come from Network Rail selling some of its property portfolio to provide £1.8 billion. The Government has also increased the limit on NR’s government borrowing by a further £700 million.
“Working closely with the Department for Transport we have ensured that no infrastructure project has been cancelled and the bulk of the investment programme will be delivered by March 2019,” said Hendy.
“Some projects will cost more and take longer than originally expected, but we will see the job through to deliver better journeys for passengers.
“My review has clearly found that the original plan was unrealistic and undeliverable. This new Railway Upgrade Plan is a more robust and deliverable plan, but it is not without its own risks and challenges which Network Rail will work tirelessly to address.”
The 44-page report provides information on what will be delivered in each part of the country. An eight-week consultation on the findings of the report will start in early December.
Sir Peter Hendy was tasked with conducting this review upon his appointment as chairman of Network Rail in June.
- For more on Hendy’s report, read RAIL 789, on sale December 9.