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Network Rail

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what information his Department holds on the number of unfilled vacancies in Network Rail’s maintenance function; (325226)

(2) what discussions he has had with Network Rail on adjustment of its figures for redundancies in the control period (a) 2009 to 2014 and (b) 2014 to 2019;

(3) whether Network Rail has informed him of any proposed redundancies in addition to those already announced for the control period (a) 2009 to 2014 and (b) 2014 to 2019.

Staffing is an operational matter for Network Rail. Network Rail is required by the independent Office of Rail Regulation to deliver substantial efficiency savings and improvements for the operation, maintenance and renewal of the network over the next five years.

On 3 March the Office of Rail Regulation announced the outcome of its review of Network Rail’s proposals for the restructuring of its maintenance function, and its support for Network Rail’s goal of introducing greater efficiency into its maintenance practices in ways that sustain and improve safety. Network Rail has discussed its proposals in the course of its routine meetings with Ministers.

On 25 March the Office of Rail Regulation made clear that Network Rail’s proposed new structure and revised key standards support their joint aims of safer and more efficient maintenance.