Network Rail’s Chief Executive, Andrew Haines, has announced one of the biggest organisational shake-ups for years, which see the number of devolved routes increase from eight to 13.
The operational changes will, according to Network Rail, put passengers first by aligning Network Rail to passenger and train operators, ensuring greater cohesion.
Five Network Rail regions will support the 13 routes, while two service directorates will be appointed, along with smaller teams at the centre.
A managing director will lead each of the five regions.
Significantly, the devolved routes will be pushed “more than ever before,” making sure that local needs are catered for by the routes, reducing the amount of bureaucracy in the process.
Network Rail believe the change in approach will result in greater cohesion between track and train, while a focus on performance for passengers will be prioritised like never before.
Andrew Haines, reflecting on his first 100 days in office, said the “radical change” is necessary, and explained the importance of more devolved routes.
He said: “The need for radical change is clear. Performance is not good enough and my comprehensive discussions with partners, passengers and politicians up and down the country has made clear to me the things we do well and the areas where we need to improve.
“Devolution has to go much deeper to enable us to get much closer to our partners and customers and be in a much better place to put passengers first and deliver for business too.”
These changes are designed to achieve these aims; with Control Period 6 (CP6) set to begin, the move to greater devolution should mean that projects are more region-orientated to cater for needs of these areas more closely.
Putting decision making much closer to those it affects is one of the chief reasons for the operational overhaul, which will provide the best chance of success in the long term.