Network Rail has unveiled details of how it will spend more than £47bn between 2019 and 2024, including more than £10bn for enhancement projects left over from the previous funding period.
Chief executive Mark Carne revealed that £18.5bn had been set aside for renewals over the next funding period, CP6, while a further £18.5bn would be spent on operations and maintenance.
The Network Rail boss also confirmed that it would be earmarking £10.1bn to fund enhancement projects left over from CP5, including the TransPennine Route upgrade.
The details of the CP6 spending plans came as part of Network Rail’s strategic business plan covering the organisation’s next funding period and beyond.
Mr Carne said that, in addition to the increase in spend, Network Rail would also change its procurement model to roll out renewals deals in a more phased approach than in previous funding periods.
He said: “One of the failures of CP5 was we had very low renewals delivery in the first year of CP5, which was because the contracts were bid at the same time and for many the first few months of CP5 were in first phases of mobilisation.
“For CP6 we will have a much more phased roll-out of new contracts so we don’t overload the supply chain with a whole series of contracts at once.”
Unlike CP5, the majority of enhancement projects in CP6 will now be funded on a project-by-project basis by the Treasury after a business case is presented to it by Network Rail and other stakeholders.
Around £1bn will go towards funding the development of new schemes, but Mr Carne said Network Rail had “relatively few” projects in its development pipeline other than the TransPennine upgrade project.
He said: “One of the failures of CP5 due to funding issues is that very little development work took place, so there is a bit of a pause until development work for new schemes picks up again.”
Geographically the London North-west route, stretching from London through the North-west to Carlisle, will see the largest investment in renewals, operation and maintenance, with £5.74bn being allocated over CP6.
The London North East route, which takes in the North-east, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and Bedfordshire, will be second with £5.28bn, while the South-east route will be third with expected investment of £3.92bn.
Around £2.87bn will be allocated to maintaining the Scottish network, while £1.48bn will go to Wales.
In addition to spending over the next five years, the business plan also includes the country’s estimated renewals expenditure in the next six control periods up until CP12.
Network Rail is forecasting investment in renewals to increase to above £20bn in CP8.
This will be largely driven by an increase in spending on signalling renewals across the period, with investment in this area during CP8 expected to be almost double that of current levels.
Commenting on the business plan, Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “The rail sector is the single largest driver of activity for the UK’s infrastructure contractors. As such, members will welcome the additional clarity that has been provided by the publication of today’s strategic business plan.
“The last five years have proved challenging for industry due to volatility in the flow of work in the sector. Network Rail has recognised that this uncertainty needs to be addressed if we are to deliver an efficient and affordable service to the travelling public.”