Network Rail cuts bonuses after Cumbria crash

24-05-2007

Network Rail cuts bonuses after Cumbria crash
Senior executives at Network Rail (NR) have received a 15 per cent bonus cut as a direct result of the fatal Grayrigg derailment, despite the company posting a record £1 billion profit.

A faulty set of points was blamed for the crash, which killed 84-year-old Margaret Masson. As a result of the "tragedy" the company's remuneration committee "felt it appropriate" to make the cut.

The reduction comes in addition to the wider financial impact of the derailment on the company's performance, which resulted in an overall 63 per cent fall in the annual executive bonus.

NR chairman Ian McAllister said: "Every single employee at Network Rail has paid a personal price for the Grayrigg derailment. This is as it should be in an organisation that has taken responsibility for such a tragedy."

This year NR's overall post-tax profits for the year ending March 31st broke the company's record, coming after a loss of £232 million in the previous year.

It said train punctuality had reached its highest level since October 1999 while a 24 per cent efficiency saving over the last three years had achieved savings worth £1.3 billion.

Today's preliminary results continued to dwell on the Grayrigg crash, for which NR chief executive John Armitt apologised in February, however.

"We continue to work with all the authorities to unearth the underlying causes of the derailment in order to fully understand the reasons behind the derailment," Mr McAllister added.

"We should not, however, lose sight of the fact that the railway is now safer than it has ever been, and more importantly, that it is the safest form of transport with key safety indicators, such as broken rails, at record low levels."

NR was fined £4 million on March 30th for its failings in the fatal Paddington crash of 1999, in which 31 people died.


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