Herald writer is dunce! Network rail is not Scottish

Another classic headline from the Herald attempts to locate blame in Scotland when it belongs in a Westminster department:

Network Rail is an arm’s length public body of the Department for Transport with no shareholders, which reinvests its income in the railways.


8 thoughts on “Herald writer is dunce! Network rail is not Scottish”

  1. It’s not that long ago, last year I think, that the SG were calling for the responsibility of Network rail assets in Scotland to be transferred to the Scottish Gov. At that time 60% of all train delays were down to Network rail. I see Williams is a Senior reporter, wonder what the juniors are like.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. The main stream media will say and publish anything to discredit our amazing SNP led Scottish government the unionist media hate the way that the SNP led Scottish government is achieving to make Scotland a better place to live in by helping its people

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s that same old trickery of the EngGov, keeping hold of the levers of power, while pretending to be democratic, and their compliant media hoping few people as possible know about who controls what.

    The ‘national grid’, Network rail, serious services being controlled by the neighbours next door. It would be very easy to undermine Scotland’s ability to provide basic esential services, if they really wanted to, I’m sure they wouldn’t do that though would they. I’m thinking PPE recently though, England, ‘not to be supplied to Scotland’ pretty much is what they said.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The headline was written in such a way that the casual reader glancing at it would think it was Scotrail that was the worst performing. Only if you read the article do you see it is Network Rail.

    In fairness to Network Rail the winter just past was not an easy one. Bridges damaged and in spate rivers making repairs difficult as well as landslips causing major damage.

    There is much you can lay at Network Rails door but it also has to be acknowledged that much of the work they have to do – examples above – is outdoors in atrocious weather.

    When it comes to the SG taking over responsibility for Hetwork Rail in Scotland perhaps caution should be the watchword. Network Rail UK has huge debts, around £50billion and counting. It also gets the lion’s share of the direct grant each year plus borrowing powers to cover its costs. Knowing Westminster if they ever hand over responsibility for the Scottish side of Network Rail they would also hand over a proportion of the debts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the distinction between Scotrail and Network Rail is just not made. It should be even tho’ as I understand it the collaborative working between the two (within the ‘Scotrail Alliance’) is pretty close and reasonably good. But collaboration is not ‘control’!

      The actual report is far from the level of ‘bad’ implied by The Herald’s framing. This extract is one of many ‘interesting’ aspects which will have impacted upon the overall performance score :

      “5.10 In its plans for CP6, Network Rail Scotland were clear that it was unlikely to achieve the PPM target of 92.5% until the end of 2021-22. For the first two years of CP6, it forecast PPM of 90.5% and 91.5%. We recognised there were some potentially significant challenges in achieving the 92.5% PPM target, but we (the ORR) decided to set this as the CP6 ScotRail performance target for each year of CP6 to reflect the level of performance required by the Scottish Ministers’ High Level Output Specification. As set out above, the obligation on Network Rail is to achieve the PPM target to the greatest extent reasonably practicable.”

      Here and in a number of other places in the report it is clear that the Scottish Government is a ‘demanding client’ of Network Rail! The report highlights the very demanding operating conditions in Scotland (severe weather) but also records a whole range of recent infrastructure improvements.

      The most recent report (21 May, 2020) from the ORR on the train operating companies’ performance reveals that Scotrail, whilst far from the best performer in terms of punctuality etc, it is also far away from being the worst!

      Click to access passenger-performance-2019-20-q4.pdf

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Fret not the majority of us now realise
    That these scribblers are in reality
    Little dogs who now can only but SPIN
    upon their TALES in order to receive a little treat from their Masters

    Liked by 1 person

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