Rail operator says voluntary redundancy for maintenance staff is needed because of 'streamlined practices'

Network Rail has announced that some 500 maintenance employees will be leaving the company by the end of May.

The rail operator said the move, under the company’s voluntary redundancy programme, was necessary because of streamlined practices and new infrastructure. It follows from 235 volunteers who took redundancy in January 2010.

Steve Featherstone, director of maintenance at Network Rail, said: “New infrastructure, new technology and new ways of working mean we can maintain the railway more safely and efficiently than ever before with fewer people.

“Those who are leaving get a severance package and those who remain for the long-term will be part of a flexible and more skilled workforce who can deliver better value for money.”

It is expected that a further 200 employees will leave the company under the voluntary scheme in the coming months.