November has been a significant month for Network Rail, as the new geographic regions took on accountability for delivery of projects in their areas.
The new accountability of the geographic regions commenced on 11 November, with delivery of projects for improvements such as track and signalling, now in the hands of the five regions.
It is the second phase of Network Rail’s transformation into a business that focuses on customers and passengers, and follows on from the creation of these new geographic regions in June; overall, there are five of them, created to allow for the devolution of decision-making and responsibility, taking this away from a centralised organisation.
Network Rail hope that the result will mean decisions are made based on what is needed in each region, made by people who understand the acute requirements for each area.
There are five regional capital delivery directors, who report to regional managing directors.
Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, said the changes will mean that the organisation can respond better to local demands.
He said: “Network Rail’s drive to be more customer and passenger focused continues.
“Today sees the shifting of more responsibilities and accountabilities to our devolved routes and regions so that they are better able to respond to local needs and demands.”
As a result of this change, more teams are transferring to the regions and to the newly-established Network Services, as well as the existing Route Services and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) directorate.
This is the latest step in devolving power at Network Rail; in September, 14 routes went live, taking day-to-day responsibility for delivering a safe and reliable railway for passengers and freight users.
The third phase of this change in the organisational structure of Network Rail is planned for next summer, when more teams will transfer into the new structure.
Changes should be complete by the end of 2020.