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Ring fenced Network Rail schemes not immune from Hendy’s “re-planning” of CP5

Sir Peter Hendy

Mantra will be is it efficient, deliverable, affordable? If not scheme will be moved to post 2019.

Department of Transport has published the draft terms of reference for Sir Peter Hendy’s review of Network Rail’s progress on delivering its CP5 projects.

All projects and programmes are in the frame including including those in the investment framework and ring-fenced funds.

Hendy was appointed as the new chair of Network Rail in June and asked by Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin to report to him this autumn with a proposal for re-planning the Control Period 5 (CP5) enhancements “in a way that is efficient, deliverable and affordable” after Government paused £2bn of electrification work that would have bust the Network Rail budget.

"All CP5 enhancements projects and programmes are in scope for this review, including those included in the investment framework and ring-fenced funds," DfT said.

According to Dft, the purpose of this exercise is to re-plan the delivery of CP5 enhancements so that:

  • the work planned is deliverable within the resources available to Network Rail and its supply chain in any given financial year
  • maximum value is gained through finding the most efficient means of delivery
  • the cost for delivery within 2014 to 2019 does not exceed the original funding assumptions for enhancements
  • work that cannot be afforded, or is not deliverable, between 2014 and 2019 is profiled for delivery beyond 2019, pending availability of funding
  • work is prioritised taking particular account of interfaces with other infrastructure programmes and the need to deliver the required passenger and freight benefits, franchise or rolling stock commitments.

DfT said that "the guiding principles and assumptions of this exercise will be":

  • this is a commission by the Secretary of State of Sir Peter Hendy as Network Rail chair - DfT will be engaged in this exercise as appropriate
  • during the re-plan both organisations will be required to share information freely and quickly among the project team (subject to specific confidentiality constraints), and to be open and honest about any limitations and uncertainties inherent in the information
  • Network Rail will be accountable for providing assured cost and schedule data for the re-plan, which can be relied upon
  • the re-plan should be driven as far as possible by increased efficiency and innovation
  • the re-plan will not jeopardise the safety and sustainability of the railway

Explanation of the full scope of the Hendy Commission came as Network Rail announced it had abandoned plans to upgrade the Ely and Soham section of freight line between Nuneaton and Felixstowe.

A Network Rail statement said: “Since April this year, our designers and engineers have been carrying out a feasibility study and site surveys to understand the possibility of doubling the track between Ely and Soham.

“This would require purchasing additional land and changes to level crossings, and as such we have also been speaking to landowners and lineside neighbours to gather feedback on our proposals. From this work, we have unfortunately identified that the cost of the scheme would be more than the budget that is currently available.

"In order to progress with the scheme, we would need to submit a Transport and Works Act Order to Transport Secretary, stating that we have sufficient funding. However, this will now be put on hold until the funding can be identified.”