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Network Rail boss Mark Carne will not take bonus

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Media captionMark Carne: "I've decided that I will not be taking a bonus this year"

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne has said he will not take his bonus, following recent major rail disruption.

Mr Carne was in line for a maximum bonus of £34,000 - around 5% of his £675,000 annual salary.

Overrunning Christmas engineering work led to the closure of London King's Cross station on Saturday, causing chaos for thousands of people.

London Paddington was also temporarily shut after work did not finish on time. By Monday, normal service had resumed.

And Finsbury Park station in north London - which was being used as a temporary terminal - had to be shut for a time due to overcrowding.

On Monday, Mr Carne said the maximum bonus he was likely to get in 2014/2015 would be 5% of his salary.

At that time he refused to say whether he would be taking any bonus. However, on Tuesday he told the BBC he would not be doing so.

Mr Carne said: "I'm accountable for the performance of the railway and bonuses are about performance so I've decided that I will not be taking a bonus this year.

"It's been a very disappointing Christmas, especially for those passengers who were affected by the problems at King's Cross and at Paddington.

"I deeply apologise for the experience that they had. I've triggered a full review of what happened so we learn the lessons from it, and also in consultation with the secretary of state, proposed a review with our industry colleagues about the timing of the kind of engineering works that we have to carry out."

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA
Image caption The work at King's Cross is part of a Network Rail engineering programme running over the festive period

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: "We welcome this decision by Mark Carne but, like many of his trains, it is running late - 72 hours late in this case.

"He should have announced it on Sunday when it became clear the level of chaos suffered by tens of thousands of passengers caught up in the King's Cross shutdown.

"We hope his fellow executives will now follow suit and announce they will also be giving up their large bonuses as well."

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has described Saturday's overrun as "totally unacceptable", while the Office of Rail Regulation and Network Rail (NR) have launched inquiries.

On Monday, shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher wrote to Mr Carne urging bonus restraint.

Mr Dugher tweeted on Tuesday: "Following my letter yesterday, welcome NR boss won't take bonus. But time ministers acknowledged their responsibilities for rail chaos too."

Given a good performance by Network Rail, Mr Carne would have been entitled to a maximum bonus of 20% of his annual salary, amounting to £135,000.

Mr Carne reduced the biggest possible bonus he could get from 160% to 20% when he joined Network Rail in January 2014.

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