Network Rail’s significant operational shift continues with the news that the new regions are now live.
This shake-up is taking place in order to make sure passengers are the number one priority, addressing their concerns regarding punctuality and performance.
These five new regions are part of the plans to give more power to devolved routes; the changes will give greater decision-making power to regional organisations who can tackle performance and punctuality issues themselves, and are better positioned to understand the needs of passengers in their regions.
New training to address historic skills gaps is also part of the plan for the new regions, while structural and cultural changes will follow.
Chief Executive of Network Rail, Andrew Haines, previously signalled the intentions to increase the number of devolved routes, which will be managed by the five Network Rail regions; each of the five will have an individual managing director.
The Chief Executive said the new regions will “demonstrate that we are on the side of passengers and freight users.”
He continued: “Addressing the decline in train performance for our passengers is our priority and I’m pleased to say we’re already beginning to see signs of improvement.
“Moreover, the changes we are making will help us to build on this and deliver the service that passengers and freight users deserve.
“We’ve made these changes as a major part of our plan to provide the best possible service for passengers and freight users, to deliver the promises we’ve made for the next five years and to improve the way we work together as an industry.”
There will be 14 devolved routes – up from eight and latterly 14 – under the five new regions of Eastern, North West & Central, Scotland’s Railway, Southern, and Wales and Western.
These routes will be in operation by the end of the summer, and further changes are planned to devolve power.