Our efficiency and finance assessment of Network Rail for 2023 relates to the fourth year of control period 6 (CP6), which runs from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2024.
By reporting on Network Rail’s efficiency and wider financial performance over time, we give assurance to rail users and funders that Network Rail is delivering what is expected and at the same time, we provide a strong reputational incentive on Network Rail to become more efficient.
Our annual assessments are intended to help customers, funders and other interested parties gain a better understanding of Network Rail's efficiency and financial performance compared with the CP6 financial assumptions that we set out in our 2018 periodic review (PR18) final determination.
Annual efficiency and finance assessment of Network Rail 2023
Our assessment provides a yearly snapshot based on the best available information and presents financial data on Great Britain, England and Wales, and Network Rail’s five regions: Scotland, Southern, Wales and Western, Eastern, and North West and Central.
It contains reported figures and commentary on Network Rail's income and expenditure and its efficiency compared to our PR18 determination.
2023 report highlights
- Network Rail delivered £949 million of efficiency improvements in April 2022 to March 2023. This represents a 13% year-on-year increase and a 1.6% increase compared to its delivery plan of £934 million. With £2.9 billion of efficiencies delivered over the first four years of CP6, Network Rail is confident that it will deliver its £4.0 billion revised target, ahead of its £3.5 billion commitment set at PR18.
- Network Rail financially underperformed by £974 million against its CP6 delivery plan in the year. It has cumulatively underperformed by £1,865 million over the first four years of the control period. We examine the contributing factors behind this in our report.
- Throughout control period 6, Network Rail, successfully managed financial uncertainties through the use of its risk fund and delivered on a large portion of its renewals programme, leaving little funding available for the final year of the control period.
- Staff costs have reduced as Network Rail makes strides in headcount levels with the implementation of workforce reforms.
Previous annual efficiency and finance assessments
Older annual efficiency and finance assessments are available on the National Archives.