Encouraging start to Network Rail’s £3.5bn savings plans, says ORR

158845 at Huddersfield
158845 at Huddersfield // Credit: Harry Gribbins (RailAdvent)

The Office of Rail and Road has announced that it has seen encouraging progress in its first assessment of how efficiently Network Rail is delivering its five-year plans.

ORR found that Network Rail has responded well to the initial concerns made by the ORR and as a result has provided more robust evidence and appears on track to deliver £391m of efficiency savings.

However, the challenge increases in 2020-21, as more work to renew the railway is planned and the efficiency challenge almost doubles.

The ORR is also reviewing how efficiently Network Rail is engaging with the supply chain.

What did the officials say?

John Larkinson, Chief Executive, ORR said:

“We have seen encouraging progress from Network Rail in response to our earlier concerns and evidence so far suggests there is a welcome turnaround from the previous control period. However, the next four years have much more challenging efficiency targets and it is imperative that Network Rail stays focussed, particularly on ensuring work to renew the railway is planned well in advance to maximise efficiency and provide a stable work plan for the supply chain. ORR will be continuing to keep a close eye on progress to ensure Network Rail delivers.”

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