10/10/2003

Jarvis pulls out of rail maintenance contracts

The rail maintenance company Jarvis – which is currently being investigated following the Potter's Bar rail crash – has announced today that it is to "exit rail maintenance contracts" for "commercial" reasons.

Jarvis currently operates three rail maintenance contracts on behalf of Network Rail - Central, East Coast Main Line and Liverpool, North Wales and Merseyrail.

Network Rail has decided to bring these three contracts in-house, and the handover is targeted to be completed by April 2004. The company said that the exact timing will be determined following detailed discussions and consultation, including safety case validation, which will take place over the next few months.

It is anticipated that Jarvis employees who are currently engaged in rail maintenance activity will be transferred to Network Rail.

Jarvis Chairman, Paris Moayedi, said: “The Board of Jarvis has decided to focus the business on delivering its core services to even higher standards of excellence.”

RMT union welcomed the decision , saying that the "fragmentation" of the railways had been an "unmitigated disaster" since privatisation.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “We welcome the news that 3,500 maintenance workers are to be brought back in-house under Network Rail, though we shall be keeping a close eye on the process to ensure that our members receive fair and equitable treatment.

“The government should now stop standing by doing nothing and act to speed the process that has already begun by default."

Rail maintenance accounts for less than 15% of Jarvis’ turnover and Jarvis now intends to "concentrate on its other core activities, including track renewals".

Network Rail organizes the country’s rail network into 20 maintenance contract areas. Seven maintenance contractors hold these contracts; Amey, Carillion Rail, First Engineering, Balfour Beatty, Amec, Jarvis and Serco; plus Network Rail’s own in-house maintenance operation.

(gmcg)

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