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News - 23 January 2003

Too Many Crumbling Rails on the Tracks!

The cost of looking after Britain's crumbling rail networks until 2006 has risen to 30bn. That's two thirds more than the budget. What does this mean for Brighton?

The costs emerged as Network Rail (the new track operator) admitted that total delays would reach the equivalent of 800 hours a day this year.

Industry leaders issued their starkest warning yet that costs had to be cut and performance improved but it is difficult to see how this will be achieved when ticket sales only cover operating companies costs and there is no other obvious source of revenue.

Richard Bowker the SRA chairman dashed hopes of major improvements including upgrading of the Thameslink line.

Brighton's transport infrastructure is a major limiting factor to its continued economic success and without a serious upgrading of the lines to London so that they can accommodate new Electrostar trains it looks set to continue to be a limiting factor.

www.ft.com


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