Rail boss Carne will not take bonus

Published: Tuesday 30th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Network Rail (NR) chief executive Mark Carne will not be taking a bonus this year.

The rail boss had been under fire since late-running Christmas engineering work led to the closure of King’s Cross station in London last Saturday amid chaotic scenes.

Mr Carne could have received as much as £135,000 in a performance-related annual pay bonus for 2014/15.

But he told Sky News today that he would not be taking it.

The work at King’s Cross is part of a huge engineering programme that NR is undertaking during this festive period.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has described the Saturday over-run as “totally unacceptable” while the Office of Rail Regulation and NR have launched inquiries.

Mr Carne said today that there was “never a good time” to do engineering work and the project at King’s Cross “didn’t work out in a satisfactory way.”

He is on a salary of £675,000 and, depending on his company’s performance, could have been entitled to an annual bonus of up to 20% of this.

Yesterday he said he would probably be entitled to only around 5% but he refused to say whether he would be taking any bonus, despite being repeatedly pressed on the matter.

The engineering over-run and the row over bonuses has come at a time when rail passengers have endured almost constant morning rush-hour delays on busy commuter routes during the late-autumn and early-winter period.

There were further hold-ups today on mainline services and on London Underground, with both East Coast and West Coast routes hit by delays.

On Friday, mainline season tickets rise by up to 2.5%, while Tube fares are also going up by more than 2%.

Mr Carne said today: “I am accountable for the railways and the performance (over Christmas) was not acceptable so I have decided that I should not take my bonus this year.”

He added that when he took over at NR (in January 2014) he recognised that the railways faced “enormous challenges” and that he had seen since that these challenges remained.

Other top executives at NR are also entitled to annual performance-related bonuses of up to 20% of salaries.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: “We welcome this decision by Mark Carne but, like many of his trains, it is running late – 72 hours late in this case.

“He should have announced it on Sunday when it became clear of the level of chaos suffered by tens of thousands of passengers caught up in the King’s Cross shutdown.

“We hope that his fellow executives will now follow suit and announce they will also be giving up their large bonuses as well.”

Published: Tuesday 30th December 2014 by The News Editor

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