Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, June 3, 1999 Published at 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK


UK

Railtrack told to reduce delays

Railtrack made £428m last year but cannot meet its own targets

Railtrack has been warned to reduce the delays it causes to train passengers or face the prospect of heavy fines.

The rail regulator said he was "disappointed" the company had failed to meet its own targets for improvement in 1998-99 and must make up the shortfall this year.


Transport Correspondent Simon Montague: "Row growing between Mr Bolt and Railtrack for some weeks"
Chris Bolt said Railtrack, which is in charge of the tracks, platforms and other infrastructure of the UK rail network, had achieved only a 2% reduction in delays.

This was far below the target of 7.5% a year for the two-year period from 1998 to 2000, which Railtrack set itself in January.

Chris Bolt, whose tenure ends next month, insisted that total delays must still be reduced by 15% by March 2000.

He said: "If Railtrack fails to deliver, it will be for Tom Winsor, who takes over as regulator from 5 July, to consider appropriate action."


[ image: Railtrack was also told to cut delays by 20% on the Great Western line]
Railtrack was also told to cut delays by 20% on the Great Western line
Mr Bolt's warning came after Railtrack said its targets were "probably not achievable" and asked if it could spread the improvements over three years.

The company said on Thursday: "We have always had the view that, with the growth on the railways, a 15% delay reduction target is unrealistic.

"But we will have to sit down and see what our next step is in response to the regulator."

Profits criticised

Mr Bolt also demanded action from Railtrack to reduce delays on one of the worst-performing lines, the Great Western service.

He said he expects delays on this line, which runs between London and the west country and Wales, to be reduced by 20% this year.

And he demanded to see Railtrack's infrastructure plans for increased capacity on the West Coast Main Line, which runs from London to Glasgow.

He said Railtrack may be in breach of its licence after operators told him credible plans probably do not exist.

Mr Bolt's announcement came in the same week that Railtrack announced 1998-99 pre-tax profits of £428m - a figure described as "a scandal" by passenger groups.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

30 May 99 | The Company File
Railtrack 'investigates tube move'

28 May 99 | The Company File
Trains too wide for platforms

27 May 99 | The Company File
Railtrack profits 'a scandal'

13 Apr 99 | The Company File
Report signals Railtrack failures





Internet Links


Railtrack

UK railways on the Net

Office of the Rail Regulator


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online