Network Rail is overhauling its standards and practices regarding risk management and how the owner and operator of the nation’s railways works with those third parties interested in constructing on or near the railway.
The thinking behind this move is to improve working practices with third parties, ultimately bringing greater efficiency thanks to streamlined and consistent processes.
It is hoped this will create a less bureaucratic structure and the changes have been accelerated after the Hansford Review into the breaking down of barriers so that organisations can invest and build on the railway.
For their part, Network Rail responded with their own Open for Business programme, which has gained traction from the overall industry, meaning Network Rail is investigating ideas from the supply chain that will bring value for money and innovation to construction processes.
The industry is vital to the overall economy of the UK, injecting more than £10 billion into it every year and supporting 117,000 jobs in the supply chain.
Network Rail’s asset protection and optimisation (ASPRO) teams to ensure the work that takes place on or near the railway is undertaken safely.
This though can make it difficult for third parties to deliver railway projects; as a result, Network Rail is implementing reforms to make it easier for those third parties to invest and construct on the railway.
Mona Sihota is Network Rail’s new national professional head of ASPRO. She said: “The path to changing the culture and behaviours of a large organisation such as Network Rail will take time, however we are committed to becoming open for business and the journey has begun.
“We’ve published our high level national framework and have begun drafting the processes and procedures to support the variety of external party projects we will engage with.”
This is one of a number of steps that Network Rail is taking to ensure its supply chain and third parties find it easier to work, and further changes are set to follow.