Thursday, 24 June 2010
Whilst Coucher and his board trouser £2.4m in bonuses for a job well done (shurely shome mishtake! Ed) dark clouds are already swirling round NR's CP4 funding settlement.
This from a written answer given on Tuesday 22nd June:
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) rolling stock and (b) highway improvement schemes have been deferred as part of his Department's contribution to in-year expenditure reductions for 2010-11. 
Mr Philip Hammond: In light of the current fiscal position, and a softening of demand, a reappraisal of all un-committed High-Level Output Specification schemes will now commence, taking account of the National Audit Office report entitled "Increasing Passenger Rail Capacity" which was published on 4 June 2010. This report is available on the NAO website.
With the government already planning to unpick Network Rail's regulated settlement how long before the NAO decides that NR debt does indeed belong on the Government's books.
So farewell Network Rail and your grossly overpaid and out of touch board.
And a big Eye welcome to Sir Alan Budd and the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Sadly the new Director General of the Rail Infrastructure Agency will have to get along with a paltry £160k a year.
Eye salutes the restraint shown by Network Rail's directors.
Paid a mere pittance these noble figures bestride our industry like veritable colossi.
So it is only right that their paltry salaries should be boosted to enable them to put bread on the table for their starving families.
With total annual bonuses for the six top directors amounting to a piffling £1.34 million, it is surely only right that they should also receive management incentive bonuses adding up to £906,000, making a total of more than £2.4 million.
After all - just how many Iainlands can you buy for such a derisory amount?
UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...
It's Network Rail's remuneration committee that you should be having a go at!
They set these outrageous amounts.
And of course the NR Board could always turn the bonuses down. But don't hold your breath.
UPDATE: This from Philip Hammond via the BBC...
"Network Rail is of course a private company," said Mr Hammond. "But one that is dependant on taxpayer funding."
"In the week when everyone has been asked to share the burden of reducing Britain's deficit, people will rightly be asking how Network Rail's top executives feel this is appropriate."
UPDATE: This from Sir Humphrey Beeching...
No need to hold your breath.
My departmental colleagues tell me that NR Directors intend taking their full bonus entitlement.
UPDATE: This from a Time Lord...
The BBC story on NR's bonuses uses an unusual picture of the company's Chief Executive.
Do you think they had this lookalike in mind?
One is a feared genius whose creatures are made in their master's image, they seek to rule the universe and those who do not obey are immediately exterminated. The other of course invented the Daleks.
Do you think they are related? (No! Ed)
This from the Gruaniad...
Transport group Go-Ahead has gone into reverse after it warned that recently introduced contracts for its regulated London bus business would hit profit margins.
This downturn in performance was of course inevitable.
And happily Eye can pinpoint the precise moment Go-Ahead's fate was sealed.
When you sup with Jonah...