Revealed: rail bosses' six-figure salaries as passengers endure above-inflation fare rises

 

Train company bosses are enjoying six-figure salaries at a time when rail passengers are enduring above-inflation fare rises, according to latest figures.

Even on the East Coast line, where services are being run in the public sector, as many as eight directors are on salaries of above £100,000 a year.

The East Coast pay levels were obtained following a request from the Press Association under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

All the other train operating companies were sent FOI requests asking how many of their directors were on six-figure salaries.

But all said they were not obliged to reply as the act did not apply to them as they were private companies.

In addition, only one company, CrossCountry, was prepared to offer any pay-level details on a non-FOI request basis.

The East Coast information supplied showed that one director - almost certainly managing director Karen Boswell - was on a salary of between £161,000 and £180,000.

Two other East Coast directors' salaries came within the £121,000 to £140,000 band, while five other directors were on between £100,000 and £120,000 a year.

East Coast's parent company is Directly Operated Railways (DOR), which was set up in 2009 by the then transport secretary to manage any train company operations which return, temporarily, to the public sector.

DOR took over East Coast in November 2009 when National Express pulled out of the franchise.

Information obtained from DOR via the Department for Transport showed DOR chief executive Michael Holden's salary for the year ending March 2012 was £156,100.

Information from CrossCountry covered the year 2011. It showed the highest paid director - almost certainly managing director Andy Cooper - was on £222,000 including pension contributions.

The company said it had 10 registered directors and their aggregate pay, including benefits, was £795,000.

Pay level details are also available for rail infrastructure company Network Rail (NR), which is currently striving to meet punctuality targets on long-haul routes.

In the last few days rail passengers have endured some miserable travelling conditions, with an overhead power line problem in Hertfordshire leading to severe delays on busy commuter routes.

NR's chief executive Sir David Higgins was on an annual basic salary of £560,000 as of March 31 2012, while finance director Patrick Butcher was on £382,000.

NR's network operations chief Robin Gisby was on £360,000, as was infrastructure director Simon Kirby.

In addition to their salaries, the NR chiefs stand to be paid performance-related bonuses running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Transport for London's (TfL) 2011/12 annual report showed that 30 of the bosses of the cross-London £14.8 billion Crossrail project were on salaries of more than £100,000.

These included chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme, who was on £380,000 when he started his present job in September 2011. Crossrail is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TfL.

The TfL report also reveals that in 2011/12, a total of 223 TfL staff were on salaries of more than £100,000. These included London Mayor Boris Johnson's current aviation adviser Daniel Moylan who is a former TfL deputy chairman, a position that gave him a salary of £112,599 in 2011/12.

Compared with train company boss pay levels, information is much more easily obtained for the bosses of rail-operating transport companies which are stock market-quoted.

These also indicate generous salary-and-bonus regimes as well as handsome rail-business profits within an industry which still receives generous subsidies from the Government.

Transport company FirstGroup runs five UK rail companies - First Capital Connect, Great Western, Hull Trains, TransPennine Express and ScotRail.

In the year ending March 2012, FirstGroup made an operating profit of £110.5 million on its UK rail business, with its revenue being £2.5 billion.

Chief executive Tim O'Toole's basic salary for 2012 was £846,000, plus a £134,000 pension allowance and £75,000 for what was described as benefits in kind.

FirstGroup's commercial director Sidney Barrie, who resigned last March, was on a salary of £349,000, while finance director Jeff Carr, who resigned in November 2011, had been on £280,000.

Another giant transport company, National Express, runs the London to Tilbury and Southend rail line c2c and also operated, until last February, the East Anglia franchise.

For the year 2011, National Express's revenue from its UK rail operations was £688.3 million, while operating profit was £43.4 million.

The company's chief executive Dean Finch is on an annual salary of £550,000, and it was announced in August 2012 that he had been awarded an extra performance-based bonus involving thousands of free shares.

National Express group finance director Jez Maiden is on £420,000 a year, with chairman John Devaney, who is about to stand down, on £225,000.

Another rail industry parent company is the Go-Ahead Group which, with French company Keolis, owns rail operator Govia which runs the London Midland, Southern, Southeastern and Gatwick Express train companies.

London Midland has been plagued with staff shortage problems in recent months and just before Christmas the Government announced the company would be offering a £7 million compensation package including free travel days for season ticket holders.

In the 12 months ending June 2012, Go-Ahead's rail operation revenue was £1.73 billion and its operating profit was £40 million. Group chief executive David Brown was on a salary of £510,000, 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.

“Then we had one Fat Controller on a modest salary. Now we have dozens, some of whom are paid over £1 million a year for running regional monopolies at the expense of both the passenger and the taxpayer.

“These people are laughing all the way to the bank while the rest of us fund their private gravy train.”

Bob Crow, general secretary of transport union the RMT, said: “It's scandalous that the only train operator disclosing top bosses' salaries is the publicly-owned East Coast, while the private train companies hide behind a veil of secrecy as they bleed passengers dry.

“You can bet your boots that the reason they want to lurk in the shadows and hide behind the cloak of commercial confidentiality is because they are milking it and they know there would be a public outcry. Compare that to the cleaners on Arriva Trains Wales on basic minimum wage currently balloting for action for a fair deal. That's the shocking reality of the haves and have-nots on Britain's railways.”

Anthony Smith, chief executive of rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “Our research shows that what is important to passengers is being able to rely on their service to get them in on time, and that their ticket is good value for money.

“Our national passenger survey clearly shows less than half of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of their train tickets.”

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?