Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 153-159)




  153. Gentlemen, I apologise for keeping you waiting. You are, as always, welcome. May I ask you firstly to identify yourselves?

  (Mr Rollings) I am Mike Rollings and I am one of the Joint Special Railway Administrators.
  (Mr Armitt) John Armitt, Chief Executive of Railtrack.
  (Mr Gisby) I am Robin Gisby, I am Director of the Eastern Region of Railtrack.
  (Mr Clarke) I am Tim Clarke, Director of the North West Region of Railtrack.

  154. Did anyone want to make any introductory remarks or may we go straight to questions?
  (Mr Armitt) Go straight to questions.

  155. Mr Rollings, do you have a particular statement you would like to make?
  (Mr Rollings) No, I can go straight to questions.

  156. Is the performance of the northern rail network back to pre-Hatfield levels?
  (Mr Armitt) No, the performance of the network as a whole, in terms of the delays which occur on the network, is not back to pre-Hatfield levels and the North would represent that as across the whole network.

  157. Do you think there are greater problems in the North caused by Railtrack than there are in the rest of the country?
  (Mr Armitt) No, I do not.

  158. You are quite convinced of that.
  (Mr Armitt) Yes.

Chris Grayling

  159. We have been hearing from the PTEs about capacity problems. How much of the difficulties which are currently being experienced with performance are capacity related? How many of the current problems can be attributed to a network which is working at capacity or beyond it?
  (Mr Armitt) The network is in certain parts of the country operating at capacity and at times excessive capacity. That means that when there is any problem on the network, it is very difficult to recover quickly from that problem. Everybody knows those problems are accentuated not actually in the North but primarily in and around London. In the North it would be localised, but it would be unfair to say that the North had the same capacity constraints as the South.

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