19/3 – A message for Network Rail suppliers: COVID-19

Dear colleagues,

We are currently facing exceptional circumstances which are having a widespread impact on the UK’s economy, infrastructure and people.

The situation is fast moving and ever changing, and it could well last months. I wanted to take an opportunity to update you on what this means for Network Rail and what you can expect from us.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will face a significant challenge in keeping Britain moving. Absolutely critical, is getting goods to market and key workers to their jobs. To do this we need your help and I want to thank you for the numerous messages and commitment you have already shown us.

With Easter approaching, I have asked Rob McIntosh our Regional Director for Eastern, to review our critical worksites, considering COVID-19. Our current plan is to proceed with all major work across the Easter weekend for which we have planned in excess of 3,200 worksites across more than 800 planned possessions. Rob is currently working with leads to scenario plan and identify what work should be prioritised, if absolutely necessary.

We want the railway to be at its very best when the country emerges from this crisis, and for that reason I have asked my colleagues to consider where there maybe opportunities to bring work forward, to make the most of additional access, given the reduction in train service. If you have any specific thoughts on this then please do get in touch with your contact point in my leadership team.

Our policy is to follow Government guidelines and we expect the same from you, our supply chain. At Network Rail, colleagues who can, have been asked to work from home. However, we are a diverse organisation and that means we can’t have a one size fits all approach. Clearly you can’t signal trains or maintain track from your living room. And it means many of our colleagues with key roles will still be travelling to work and that is considered to be within Government guidance.

Many of you will have already heard from Clive Berrington, Commercial & Procurement Director, who will continue to keep you up-to-date. Please have open and honest conversations with him and your contacts. We’ve also set up a dedicated email address for you to ask any questions: COVID-19suppychain@networkrail.co.uk.

Wherever and however we work, now more than ever is a time where we must work together and make sure we are keeping each other safe and supported to deliver the very best for those who depend on us, at work and at home.

Thank you for what you do.

Andrew