Rail bosses criticised for "extraordinary" bonuses

21-07-2008

Rail bosses criticised for
Three Network Rail bosses have been criticised by a group of MPs for receiving bonuses of £200,000 each despite major engineering overruns this year.

A report from the Commons transport select committee found passengers were "inconvenienced and humiliated" after delays in the New Year caused by engineering work overruns at Rugby, Liverpool Street and Glasgow Shields Junction.

The rail regulator fined the company a record £14 million for the delays.

MPs blamed management failings for the delays, which affected thousands of commuters returning to work after the Christmas break and said the large bonuses were "extraordinary" and add "insult to injury for the long-suffering passengers".

Network Rail's chief executive, Iain Coucher, said: "We are disappointed by the comments in the transport select committee report which do no reflect the pivotal role Network Rail has played in turning around the railway from the mess inherited from Railtrack.

"Since New Year we have invested over £2 billion in thousands of projects across the country applying the lessons from the unacceptable over-runs at New Year."

Mr Coucher will be receiving a £305,000 bonus this year, according to the report.

The report called for action to "prevent generous bonuses being handed out for good performance in some areas against a background of catastrophic failure in others".

MPs were also concerned that the cost of running the railways is shifting more towards the passenger and away from the taxpayer.

The shift should happen over a longer period than has been planned, the report said.

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