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Railways

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how decisions are taken on whether Network Rail or train operating companies are used to deliver major projects. (254928)

The majority of major rail projects are delivered by Network Rail as the company best able to undertake such tasks. It has ownership of the railway infrastructure and can co-ordinate such activities with its responsibility for both maintenance and renewal.

Some smaller scale schemes are delivered by individual train operators, often where these form part of their franchise agreement obligations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of Railways for All projects have been delivered by (a) Network Rail and (b) train operating companies. (254929)

So far 100 per cent. of the Access for All main schemes to reach completion have been delivered by Network Rail.

Work has started on site for a station being delivered by a train operating company, but progress has been slower than anticipated and the delivery proportions as yet unaffected.

Further opportunities for train operating company led delivery are being explored for projects reaching the design stage.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the performance of (a) Network Rail and (b) train operating companies in delivering Railways for All projects, including Small Schemes fund projects. (254930)

Assessment of Network Rail’s efficiency is a function of the Office of Rail Regulation, which publishes independent monitoring of current projects. The most recent report, which includes assessment and recommendations for the Access for All programme is available on the Office of Rail Regulations’ website at:

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/conrep-projmon07-Halcrow.pdf

The Department for Transport works closely with Network Rail to monitor delivery of the programme, and is aware that initial progress has been slower than anticipated. Following an internal review in summer 2009, Network Rail put in place a revised contracting and delivery strategy, and delivery is now gaining momentum.

Network Rail are excluded from bidding for Access for All Small Scheme funding, the majority of which has been awarded to Train Operating Companies and local authorities. Of the train operating company schemes, 96 per cent. of 505 station projects were completed in 2006-08, delivering enhancements to over 480 stations. A further 149 stations are due to receive enhancements by train operating companies by 31 March 2009, under the 2008-09 programme, 56 of which are currently complete.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what matters were discussed at his recent meeting with the Association of Train Operating Companies and chief executives of the train operating companies; and if he will make a statement. (255982)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, South (Mr. Harris) on 9 February 2009, Official Report, column 1609W.