The New Civil Engineer UK Rail Conference Provides the Platform for Debate
Yet another torrid week for Network Rail as the Office for the Rail Regulator leads the charge following missed targets and broken promises.
With some key influencers attending the UK Rail Conference this week, there is a platform for debate on what needs to happen. Let us hope for some bold visioning and, frankly, more consistent and honest leadership.
While Network Rail has tried to embrace more collaborative styles of working, it continues to fail as more leadership is required. Not simply from Mark Carne and a few in Network Rail. The industry as a whole needs to step up. That includes the ORR, DfT, Network Rail, TOC’s and the industry’s huge supply chain. We cannot rely on one or two in the client to beat the drum on collaborative working while everyone else remains in their comfort zone, reverting to transactional contracts that continue to expect more for less, or worse, giving mixed messages where not enough is done to actually create the right environment to succeed.
Network Rail is to be congratulated for beginning the process to shift towards a partnership approach. And yet they cannot succeed alone. It needs many champions with courage, conviction and constancy of purpose who can sell the benefits not simply to shareholders but also their staff and customers. The approach has to be fully and properly embedded to bring about a sustainable behavioural change in order for collaboration to work. Not just from Network Rail but also contractors. The first step of adopting BS11000 has delivered a framework but not enabled the cultural shift and move away from old habits necessary to succeed.
Let the following two days be the beginning of the necessary frank discussion that is long overdue.
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Notes to Editor:
JCP specialise in helping major clients, contractors and their supply chains realise the benefits of reduced cost, speedier delivery, increased profit and improved relationships from working collaboratively with each other. They have a 91% success rate in helping clients win work. The company has worked with leading names including Network Rail, National Grid, Highways Agency, Welsh Water, London Underground and Thames Water and with Central Government including DfT, BIS, and HMT Infrastructure UK.Download a PDF version