National Rail told to cut £2bn from costs and improve train times
Rail bosses have been ordered to slash the costs of running Britain's railways by £2 billion as well as sorting train punctuality. The railways regulator - Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) - told Network Rail that the gap between the best and worst performing routes in Britain were far too wide and that more than nine out of 10 trains must run on time from now on.
Among the worst performers are First Capital Connect and First Great Western who, naturally, are run by the beleaguered First Group.
If targets are continually missed, Network Rail will be hit with fines of £75 million this year.
ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “The industry must continue to improve its efficiency to reduce its dependence on public subsidy. Passengers will benefit from increases in capacity through a major programme of enhancements and improvements in punctuality, tackling in particular the worst-performing lines.”
Anthony Smith, chief executive of Passenger Focus said: "Passengers will judge it when the trains turn up on time."
"In England and Wales we've had years of above-inflation fare rises that have led to money being poured into the rail industry. In return for that passengers expect the basics of a good service."