A narrow majority of Network Rail's members approved the rail infrastructure operators controversial director remuneration package at yesterday's annual general meeting.
Over £2m was awarded to directors through bonuses and other incentives, with outgoing chief executive Iain Coucher receiving £641,000.
But, out of 77 of the 100 NR members who attended the AGM, just 54% approved the directors' remuneration for the year ending 31 March 2010.
NR members comprise; public members, drawn from the general public; industry members, made up from rail industry companies, such as train operators and contractors; and the Department for Transport. Members do not have any financial or economic interest in the company, and do not receive dividends, share capital or any other form of payment from Network Rail.
The meeting was chaired by the company's chairman, Rick Haythornthwaite, who said: ""Today's meeting has been one of healthy debate where NR's members have held the board to account demonstrating the value of their role. Members raised issues around safety, performance, remuneration and cut-backs in rail investment.
"NR is moving to a new phase in its development and changes will happen. NR's members must change too and today's meeting may well mark a start."