Bonuses for network rail bosses

Network RailFour top Network Rail (NR) bosses have been awarded bonuses totalling more than £600,000.

The long-term incentive plan payments, including £168,000 to finance director Patrick Butcher, come at a time when rail regulators have been critical of NR's performance on the railways.

Under the plan, network operations managing director Robin Gisby and infrastructure projects managing director Simon Kirby both get £158,400, while group strategy director Paul Plummer picks up £148,400.

The payments, reflecting the company's performance in the period 2009-12, could have been higher but NR said 20% had been cut "to take account of specific safety and train performance issues".

NR also said that the payments would be phased, with 60% paid now and the balance to be reviewed at the end of the 2013/14 financial year. The company added that the award had been delayed by a year.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with NR's performance, particularly on long-distance routes.

Of late there have been a series of overhead line problems that have caused serious delays on some busy routes, including the East Coast main line where trains-on-time figures have fallen.

NR said that under the terms of the 2009 long-term incentive plan (LTIP), the four directors had qualified for a 100% payout. However, the company's remuneration committee had decided to reduce the award by 20%.

Of this figure, 10% reflected "workforce safety, level crossing safety and enforcement notices over the period" while the other 10% took into account the fact that train performance targets were not met.

NR pointed out that during the period 2009-12 it had the cut the cost of running the railway by £1.6 billion and achieved £526 million in incremental savings above the ORR's original target.

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