Stop throwing cash at the railways, says train chief

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The head of a leading UK train operator says the country's ailing rail network does not need more government cash. Instead, existing resources must be used more effectively.

Moir Lockhead, the chief executive of FirstGroup, said that using the money more efficiently and maintaining the network more effectively is what is needed to transform the rail system.

"It's not a question of money; we have seen this gov- ernment put whatever cash is needed into security and safety, and doing whatever needs to be done in renewing the railway infrastructure after many years of neglect," Mr Lochead told The Independent on Sunday.

"It's not money, it's the management of cash and the work that is required to be done ... [Network Rail] have to train and introduce people on to the network that are capable and competent of delivering a consistent quality of work, and pay attention to the routine maintenance that during the years of Railtrack was neglected."

The statement contrasts with the views of the Strategic Rail Authority's head, Richard Bowker, who has said that the £33bn of public money allocated to the railways over the next 10 years might not be enough to transform the railways.