Rail regulators orders firm responsible for track renewal programme to work on tighter budget

Rail regulators have ordered Network Rail to cut its predicted spending and be more efficient.

Railway line

The Office of Rail Regulation said the company, which is responsible for an extensive track renewal programme in the UK, would have to work on a budget of £26.5bn for the period from 2009-14, £3bn less than Network Rail has asked for.

The company said the settlement could put its plans to meet rising demand for rail services at risk.

Iain Coucher, Network Rail chief executive, said: "it is vitally important that we get the right level of funding to meet passenger and freight needs, so that we can deliver the railway that this country needs into the next decade."