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Network Rail: Only 54pc vote to approve directors' pay

Only 54 per cent of Network Rail’s members, equivalent to shareholders, voted in favour of its remuneration policy at today’s annual general meeting, in a rebuff to senior directors.

Concerns were raised last month when it was revealed that directors had been awarded over £2 million in bonuses and incentive plans.

Outgoing chief executive Iain Coucher was personally awarded £641,000 under the scheme.

Network Rail chairman Rick Haythornthwaite said: “Today’s meeting has been one of healthy debate where Network Rail’s shareholders - called members - have held the board to account demonstrating the value of their role. Members raised issues around safety, performance, remuneration and cut-backs in rail investment.

“Network Rail is moving to a new phase in its development and changes will happen. Network Rail’s members must change too and today’s meeting may well mark a start.”