POLITICIANS will have a direct say in the level of bonuses for Network Rail bosses after changes to the company's structure.

From Monday, NR's net debt, about £33 billion, will become part of the national debt. This will mean that NR, which has members rather than shareholders, becomes a public-sector company.

Yesterday, NR's members, who hold the company's board to account, agreed to the changes which will see the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, having powers over the appointment of the company's chairman.

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Mick Whelan, general secretary of train drivers' union Aslef, said he was delighted that NR had been "brought back onto the books as a public body".