Anger over £1m pay deals for rail bosses as fares keep going up

Pay figures emerge as poll of passengers reveals commuter dissatisfaction

Rail bosses are being handed pay packets worth as much as £1.4m while commuters are being hit with rising ticket prices, according to figures published yesterday.

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed that eight executives on the East Coast line, where services are being run by the public sector, were revealed to be on £100,000 or more, with the highest paid on a salary of between £161,000 and £180,000.

Two other East Coast directors are being paid between £121,000 and £140,000 and five more between £100,000 and £120,000 a year. The revelations are likely to cause anger among commuters, who were hit with above-inflation price hikes less than two months ago.

And executives at Go-Ahead, FirstGroup and Network Rail were getting deals worth more than £1m when assorted bonuses and other benefits were taken into account.

Meanwhile, a passenger satisfaction survey published today by consumer magazine Which? shows that more than half of the companies running Britain’s train network were given scores of less than 50 per cent. The research showed that only 22 per cent of train users felt the service they received was improving, despite rising ticket prices.

Figures from other operators showed more six-figure salaries being doled out in boardrooms across the industry. The 10 directors at CrossCountry, which runs services mainly in the West Midlands, were paid £795,000 in total in 2011 with the highest paid taking home £222,000 including pension contributions.

It was revealed last month that ScotRail boss Stephen Montgomery received a £54,000 pay rise, taking his salary up to £333,000 in 2012.

The company is owned by FirstGroup, where chief executive Tim O’Toole was paid £846,000 last year, plus a £134,000 pension contribution and £75,000 as benefits in kind. Accounts showed that, in the year ending March 2012, FirstGroup made an operating profit of £110.5m on its UK rail business.

Network Rail, which is currently fighting to meet targets on punctuality, paid its chief executive Sir David Higgins an annual basic salary of £560,000, while finance director Patrick Butcher was on £382,000. Two other executives, Robin Gisby and Simon Kirby, were paid salaries of £360,000.

National Express chief executive, Dean Finch, is paid a salary of £550,000 in a deal which was worth more than £1.4m in 2011 with bonuses and other benefits. National Express group finance director, Jez Maiden, is on £420,000 a year and his deal was worth more than £1m with additional benefits. Chairman John Devaney, who is about to stand down, was on £225,000.

Accounts also showed that Go-Ahead chief executive David Brown’s salary was £510,000 but his deal was worth £900,000 after a bonus was added, with finance director Keith Down on £326,000.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: “One of the reasons we have the highest rail fares in Europe is because we have created an army of Fat Controllers since John Major sold off British Rail 20 years ago.”

None of the train companies responded to requests for comment.

Fast track: The fat controllers

Tim O’Toole

The FirstGroup chief executive’s remuneration package was worth more than £1m last year. The American executive left a lucrative job with London Underground – where he earned the CBE for his response to the London 7/7 bombings – to join FirstGroup.

Sir David Higgins

The Network Rail boss waived his right to a bonus of up to £340,000 under ministerial pressure in 2012. Justine Greening, then Transport Secretary, criticised plans to allow him as much as 60 per cent of his £560,000 salary.

Dean Finch

National Express’s Group Chief Operating Executive was reportedly allowed a bonus of up to 150 per cent of his £550,000 pay to stay at the firm after being approached by other groups.

David Brown

The Go-Ahead chief, who is paid £510,000, has spoken recently of the challenging politics inherent in an industry receiving public funding.

Jez Maiden

The Finance Director at National Express, who has previously served in the same role at Northern Foods, British Vita and Britannia Building Society, is paid a salary of £420,000.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future