Network Rail execs in line for £15.6m bonus

Network railNetwork Rail boss Sir David Higgins, on a £560,000 basic salary, could receive a £336,000 bonus, along with several other Network Rail executive directors.

Their collective bonus pool could be worth as much as £15.6m in total over five years. Yet their cries for more cash arrives after accusations of a high-level safety cover-up.


Cover-up?

The cover-up accusations follow fresh research into the deaths of two girls, Olivia Bazlinton, 14, and Charlotte Thompson, 13, hit by a high-speed train during a Christmas shopping trip in December 2005. The two friends had been attempting to catch a train at Elsenham station in Essex, but were hit by another train coming in the opposite direction.

The families of the two girls have accused Network Rail of knowing about the dangers of the crossing, but not addressing them. Specifically, it's alleged a Network Rail risk report had revealed safety concerns about the crossing in 2002, three years before their tragic deaths.
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Crucially, new safety measures were allegedly urged - gates that locked automatically as trains approached.

Plea for restraint

The bonus-grabbing draft plan put forward by the Network Rail executives also comes after an unflattering verdict by the Office of Rail Regulation which accused Network Rail of deteriorating punctuality, with particularly poor performance on some long-distance passenger services.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening has urged the Network Rail bosses to show restraint but she also claims she is unable to block the bonus payments.

The Network Rail press office claims the company is obliged by law to offer all top executives bonuses and claimed no bonuses were paid last year. However, if you look at the table below detailing the salaries of Network Rail execs, you might think no bonuses were needed. Or, in the light of recent news, deserved.

Source: Network Rail
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