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Carne accepts performance failures

Network Rail boss forfeits bonus over King’s Cross chaos

Kings x chaosNetwork Rail boss Mark Carne agreed to forfeit his bonus this year over the chaos that left thousands of passengers stranded at King’s Cross and Finsbury Park stations over the Christmas weekend.

Already the rail regulator has demanded an explanation for the unfinished engineering work which led to the terminus being closed and trains cancelled.

Passengers travelling to the north of England and Scotland on the east coast main line were re-directed to Finsbury Park, a small commuter station in North London. They queued in cold weather and complained that no one from the company updated them on developments.

Trains began operating from King’s Cross yesterday but were disrupted by further signalling problems which led to rail workers resorting to flags to control train movements.

As passengers squeezed on to the limited number of available services there were reports of some being forced to stand all the way from London to Edinburgh.

Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames demanded that those responsible were dismissed, while the Office of Rail Regulation said lessons must be learned. Even so, passengers may find they are not eligible for refunds.

Mr Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said he would not be taking his bonus on top of his £675,000 salary after coming under fire over the debacle and claims that Network Rail would miss several performance targets.

The company said the work near King’s Cross was part of a £200 million investment programme but admitted that cancelling all services as “regrettable and unfortunate”.

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