SBP – Network Rail‘kitchen sinks’future downsides

■ Financial pressures dominate

■ Asset life extended to cut renewals costs

■ Infrastructure quality to fall

■ Focus on resilience to changing weather

■ Enhancements not included

Whoever was responsible for Network Rail’s 171- page Strategic Business Plan (SBP) for England & Wales, handed over to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) on 24 February, but not published until 18 May at the Transport Secretary’s instruction, clearly had in mind the brief to conference speakers:‘tell them what you are going to say, say it,then remind them of what you have said’. The same points are repeated in section after section.

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