Tuesday 8 July 2014

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 Posted by Hari No comments Labels: , , , ,
Posted by Hari on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 with No comments | Labels: , , , ,

SOURCE GUARDIAN: Network Rail fined more than £50m for late trains
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has slapped a £53.1m fine on the track operator, the biggest it has yet levied for missing targets. Last year, almost one in six long-distance trains ran late, nearly twice as many as permitted by the 92% punctuality target. More than one in 10 commuter trains in London and the south-east ran late, where the target was 93%. The government said some of the fine would go towards improving Wi-Fi, with trackside equipment being put in place by NR over the next three to four years to provide a faster service. The service, costing around £90m, is expected to be free for passengers and should increase broadband speeds by 10 times. Unions have denounced the move. The RMT acting general secretary, Mick Cash, said: "The public need to be aware of the brutal fact that the fine will come straight out of safety-critical maintenance and renewals budgets and diverted into the pockets of the greedy private train companies to finance Wi-Fi services on their trains." Manuel Cortes, the leader of the TSSA rail union, said it was "yet another example of the crazy-money merry-go-round that is at the heart of our fragmented rail industry".

SOURCE BBC NEWS: Network Rail fine to help pay for faster train wi-fi
A proportion of the £90m cost of the scheme will be funded by the government from a record-breaking fine being handed to Network Rail this week. The firm looks after much of the track, signalling and stations across Britain. It is being punished by the Office of Rail Regulation for missing key punctuality targets on its long-distance services over five years. Critics have long questioned the point of fining Network Rail for poor service, because in the end it is being stripped of cash that could be used to improve the lines. Now ministers say they will make sure the cash will be used to help people get online. 


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