Latest Rail News

23.03.15

Network Rail subject to Freedom of Information Act from tomorrow

Starting tomorrow Network Rail will be subject to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act due to its new status as an arms-length body of the Department for Transport.

Anyone will have the legal right to ask the company for information related to its public services and receive a reply within 20 working days. 

Areas covered by the Act include:

  • Network Rail’s operation including its rail maintenance, renewal and development  programmes;
  • Information about train movements and passenger information; 
  • The operation of managed stations.

Since being reclassified as a public body in September 2014, Network Rail has stated it would act as if it was already in compliance with FOI, responding to information requests on a voluntary basis.

However once the organisation becomes subject to the FOI Act, those who request information will have legal backing and be able to apply to the Information Commissioner should they believe that Network Rail has not supplied a sufficient response.

Mark Farrow, head of transparency for Network Rail, said: “We've already released a huge amount of data as part of our commitment to transparency and FOI is the next stage in delivering on our commitment to being more open and accountable. We are driven to becoming an organisation that is trusted by the travelling public, taxpayers and politicians.  Publishing information under FOI will help people understand what we do, how we do it and why.”

To make an FOI request email FOI@networkrail.co.uk or write to Network Rail Freedom of Information, PO Box 6315, Milton Keynes MK10 1AR.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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