Watchdog rejects Railtrack switches
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 31 July 1999
The Rail Regulator Tom Winsor has written to the infrastructure company saying an attempt to stretch its commitment to meet a shortfall on its passenger delay targets from one year to two was "completely unacceptable".
Mr Winsor, who took over the post three weeks ago, accused the rail giant of reneging on commitments given on performance levels drawn up by the company itself.
"I remind you that these published targets are Railtrack's own targets," he wrote. "I also remind you that as late as January this year you confirmed your commitment to those targets.
"It cannot be right that an important public commitment of that nature by a regulated company should be subjected to amendment or withdrawal at the discretion of the company."
Railtrack had promised to cut the number of minutes of delay per train by 7.5 per cent a year for the next two years but only managed a reduction of 2 per cent for the last year.
Earlier this year, the Office of the Rail Regulator demanded that Railtrack make up the shortfall within 12 months. The company responded by offering to do so within three years.
A reply from the rail watchdog that this was unsatisfactory was met by an offer from Railtrack to make good the deficit "as soon as possible" with a commitment to complete the task within a maximum of two years.
This was today met with an unequivocal response from Mr Winsor, who has informed Railtrack he was passing a copy of his letter to the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
Mr Winsor said: "I have now reviewed all the papers relating to this subject and concluded that your proposal is completely unacceptable."
Among the options open to Mr Winsor will be punitive action against Railtrack. He added: "I will write to you shortly when I have made my decision on next steps."
Railtrack later said it was "disappointed" at the failure to meet its performance target and pledged to rectify the shortfall.
A spokeswoman added: "Improving performance remains Railtrack's key priority. We were disappointed in the figures last year and we are committed to making up as much as possible the shortfall in passenger train delays this year."
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Stella McCartney apologises over controversial 'very ill' model picture on Instagram
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£26000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher required for ...
£55000 - £60000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...