Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 16:05 UK

MP criticises rail bosses bonuses

A train
Network Rail is responsible for the UK's rail infrastructure

Network Rail bosses should be focusing on efficiency, not giving six-figure bonuses to directors, the chair of the transport select committee has said.

MP Louise Ellman was reacting to news that top Network Rail bosses will get bonuses totalling over £1.2m despite criticism of the firm's performance.

She said the bonuses "displayed lack of sensitivity to passengers" who she said still faced numerous delays.

Network Rail said its successes "should not be overshadowed" by its failings.

'Bonus culture'

Mrs Ellman said: "Network Rail have again displayed lack of sensitivity to passengers. Huge amounts of money have been spent on the West Coast Main Line but there are still too many unnecessary delays and shut-downs over bank holidays.

"They keep saying they are becoming more efficient, but this is just not happening. It is time they paid a bit more attention to improvements and to the needs of passengers rather than this bonus culture."

The Labour MP said it was time Network Rail's accountability to the public was reviewed.

Iain Coucher Chief Executive - Annual incentive: nil. Three year incentive plan: £150,255
Robin Gisby Operations Director - Annual: £81,345. Three year: £57,887
Peter Henderson Infrastructure Director - Annual: £216,920. Three year: £112,107
Ron Henderson now retired - Annual: £206,567. Three year: £112,107
Simon Kirkby Director of Infrastructure Investment -Annual: £61,345. Three year: £55,752
Paul Plummer Director of Planning and Regulation - Annual: £76,415. Three year: £65,151

Chief executive Ian Coucher will get more than £150,000 in incentive payments for the performance of his company over the last three years.

Directors Peter Henderson and Ron Henderson will each get more than £300,000.

Last month the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) warned the company over its stewardship of the West Coast Main Line, which has been plagued by delays.

It said the line's performance in recent months had been "volatile, and the problems are increasing".

The problems came despite a £9bn upgrade project, which was completed last December.

More than one fifth of trains on the London-Glasgow line ran late last year.

Network Rail's annual report defended the bonuses, saying its remuneration committee had reflected on the disruption to passengers on the West Coast line.

But it said it had noted that the scale of the delivery of the £9bn modernisation project "should not be overshadowed completely".

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