Network Rail is set to receive more than £21bn in funding over the next five years for day-to-day running of the rail network, as per the plan revealed by the UK’s Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).
According to the plan, which will be implemented from April 2014, Network Rail will be responsible to deliver nine out of ten trains on time on regional, London and South East and Scottish routes.
Network Rail will be responsible for enhancing standards of infrastructure management, network resilience, and safety for passengers and railway workers.
The rail authority has also been tasked with reducing network running costs by about 20%, and delivering an enhancement programme worth billions of pounds.
Out of the total funding approved by the ORR, more than £12bn will be for enhancements to the country’s rail network to ease congestion, £109m to close about 500 level crossings, and about £250m to improve safety of track workers.
ORR has also cleared an extra £571m to upgrade bridges and tunnels. In addition, projects which have been valued at over £7bn have no clear delivery plans or costs yet.
The British regulator, which claims that Network Rail can achieve £1.7bn savings, has protected Network Rail’s funding for maintaining the rail network at nearly £5bn.
ORR CEO Richard Price said: "Network Rail has made great strides in improving safety, performance and efficiency on Britain’s railways.
"More level crossings will be upgraded or closed; passengers will enjoy better punctuality and suffer fewer cancellations; customers should have a say in shaping billions of pounds of new investment on the network; and the company will continue to bring down the day-to-day costs of running the railways."