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Sunday, 5 August, 2001, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Railtrack may axe managers
Relaying track near Hatfield
Crashes were the symptom of Railtrack's malaise, its chairman says
Railtrack is set to cut up to 1,000 senior and middle management jobs within weeks, according to a report in the Observer newspaper.

In an interview with the newspaper, Railtrack chairman John Robinson said he refused to reveal detailed plans, but that he and chief executive Steve Marshall would conduct a major review of management.

Mr Robinson criticised what he called the "culture of administration" at Railtrack's head office.

Railtrack chairman John Robinson
Robinson: Slams culture of bureaucracy at Railtrack

"Since privatisation, numbers in head office have got bigger," he told the Observer.

"Too many people pushing paper around. I have never worked in a situation like it."

The Observer said that its research among City sources indicated that 1,000 job losses - almost all at head office - were likely from Mr Robinson's review.

Also on Sunday, there were reports that Mr Robinson had called in consultants William M Mercer to review the firm's executive pay structure.

Bureaucracy to blame

Mr Robinson implied that the rail system's disastrous recent safety record was at least in part the result of Railtrack's inefficiency.

"The Hatfield accident was not the cause of the problems we are now facing; it was the symptom of problems that were already there," he said.

But while Mr Robinson is keen to shake the company up, he also warned that government attempts to do the same thing could end in disaster.

He said, however, that he did not anticipate any major changes to the legal or financial structure of Britain's rail system, despite calls for renationalisation of the system, or operators to get control of part of the rail infrastructure.

See also:

02 Aug 01 | Business
Railtrack operations chief axed
24 Jul 01 | Business
Railtrack's 'appalling year'
23 Jul 01 | Business
Railtrack funding under threat
22 Jun 01 | Business
Corbett pay-off branded 'obscene'
24 May 01 | Business
Railtrack reports massive loss
29 Mar 01 | UK Politics
Re-nationalise Railtrack say MPs
17 Nov 00 | UK
Railtrack chief quits
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