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Chief executive of Network Rail Sir David Higgins has refused a six-figure bonus after it was condemned by the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening.

Sir David was reportedly due a bonus of up to £340,000, but a meeting of Network Rail bosses to vote on financial rewards has been abandoned after Greening announced she would attend the meeting and vote against the bonus.

In a statement, Network Rail said the meeting of members would be “adjourned” while the board held talks with Greening over reforming the bonus scheme.

The bonus for Sir David would have amounted to 60 per cent of his annual salary, which is £560,000.

Sir David said: "Even if this situation does arise this year, I and my directors decided last week that we would forgo any entitlement and instead allocate the money to the safety improvement fund for level crossings. I can confirm that remains our intention."

And Network Rail chairman Rick Haythornthwaite insisted: “Friday's meeting was not to approve a specific annual bonus payment for executive directors, but rather to amend a previously approved long term incentive scheme to ensure additional external scrutiny of performance."

Greening said: "NR's decision to postpone the meeting planned for this Friday and look again at their proposed executive bonus structure is sensible and welcome.

"I have made it clear to NR at every stage that this proposed package did not go far enough in reflecting the need for restraint."

She added: "The fact that its executive directors have also chosen to forfeit their annual bonuses to charity is a sign that they have recognised the strength of public opinion."

Last week, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Stephen Hester turned down a £1m bonus under pressure from ministers and Labour politicians. 

Picture: Getty
 


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Network Rail boss David Higgins refuses bonus
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