HC Deb 10 July 2003 vol 408 c882W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures are being taken to ensure that private contractors meet safety standards on rail maintenance. [124487]

Mr. McNulty

Network Rail's Railway Safety Case, which is accepted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), includes Network Rail's Safety Management System to manage its contractors. This also requires Network Rail's contractors to demonstrate their ability to safely deliver the contract. Network Rail's Contractor Assurance System requires that each of its contractors have a Contractor Assurance Case that is monitored and reviewed by Network Rail. These cases are designed to ensure that contractors deliver a safe, effective and efficient railway.

Network Rail is fundamentally changing the way it manages rail maintenance. Its New Maintenance Programme ensures that Network Rail decides what work is completed and when. Network Rail is also taking direct control of three maintenance contract areas. This will give Network Rail clearer control of the works being completed.

Network Rail is also subject to regulation and enforcement by the HSE's Railway Inspectorate (HMRI). HMRI plans to monitor Network Rail's management of contractors, including its arrangement for managing maintenance contracts in-house.

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