The UK’s Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has approved Network Rail’s action plan to improve passenger and freight train performance.

The approval follows the ORR’s enforcement action against Network Rail late last year calling to improve overall services.

Under the new performance improvement plan, Network Rail has set out specific actions to address deteriorating punctuality and reliability.

It will now work with rail operators in the UK to establish a performance management system to identify issues causing delays in regular operations.

"There must be no let-up in the drive to improve performance, and we will be making sure Network Rail delivers."

Additionally, Network Rail aims to improve its response time following incidents and reduce the time taken to resume normalcy after such disruptions.

Enhancing capabilities by providing additional staff training and hiring new recruits are also part of the overall performance improvement plan.

ORR planning and Performance director Graham Richards said: “There must be no let-up in the drive to improve performance, and we will be making sure Network Rail delivers on its promised steps aimed at improving performance for passengers and freight customers.

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“We are pleased to see that Network Rail has reacted positively to our enforcement action and has a thorough plan to identify and tackle the root causes of the deterioration of punctuality.”

In a statement, ORR added that it will continue to monitor Network Rail’s improvement works, primarily focusing on route specific actions.

Last year, a report published by the ORR found that Network Rail’s punctuality and reliability hit their lowest levels since 2014. The report prompted the agency to issue a formal order directing Network Rail to improve their capabilities to deliver better performance.