FTA urges Network Rail to deliver rail enhancements

Following the announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT) that electrification of the Midland Mainline and the Trans-Pennine route would be deferred following delays and overruns in the enhancement programme, the Freight Transport Association has expressed its concern.

While giving its support to measures outlined by the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, to ensure Network Rail’s infrastructure enhancement programme gets back on track, the FTA outlined that vital projects would be put on hold.

Earlier this month the Office of Rail and Road’s performance review was critical of Network Rail’s delivery of schemes to improve the infrastructure on Britain’s rail network.  FTA has repeatedly stressed the importance of rail freight.

FTA’s Chief Executive, David Wells, said: “The infrastructure enhancements are vital for making sure the UK can capitalise on use of rail for its freight needs, with all the environmental and safety benefits that will bring.

“It is disappointing that Network Rail’s programme has run into delays and increased costs, and FTA is glad that the Secretary of State has taken these steps to address the problem for the future.

“It is disappointing to see any upgrades to our rail network delayed, as it still suffers from historic underinvestment that prevents it playing its full role on our supply chain.”

Commenting on another government related announcement, Mr Wells added: “In particular I personally want to welcome the appointment of Sir Peter Hendy as the Chair of Network Rail.

“We have worked together for years on the complex issues around London’s transport network, and I’m confident that he is the right person to ensure Network Rail delivers in the most effective fashion possible.”