Latest Rail News

12.06.18

ORR calls on Network Rail to spend £1bn on safety and quality initiatives

The rail regulator has called on Network Rail to invest an extra £1bn on replacing “worn out” rolling stock, including £80m in spending on safety expenditure and worker safety initiatives.

The ORR said railway performance has “failed many passengers” in recent months, arguing that strong planning is central to improving performance. The regulator claims it has identified greater scope for Network Rail to boost reliability and safety, emphasising the demand for greater funding.

Amongst the recommendations from the regulator are to reallocate £0.9bn of the current £1.7bn England and Wales funding, currently held centrally to manage financial risks, to Network Rail’s routes so they can develop cash spending plans, and the creation of a £10m performance innovation fund to support testing and implementing new ideas across the country.

Network Rail has also been directed by the ORR to review its performance measures for the Wessex, South East, and Anglia routes, to ensure the providers work effectively with the publicly-financed infrastructure network and that they engage in the process to finalise passenger performance targets.

Above all, the ORR said that the investment of £1bn of work to enhance safety and service standard provisions would be funded through changes including “greater efficiency and other savings.” The cash increase will bring the total renewals budget to £18bn across Britain.

Chief executive of ORR Joanna Whittington said: "The entire rail industry, including passengers, freight customers and train operators, relies on Network Rail to deliver a high-quality service.

"ORR’s initial assessment of Network Rail’s five-year plans shows that the transition from a centrally run company to one structured around eight geographic routes has improved the quality of the plans, but we want to see £1bn more spent on renewing the railway to improve reliability and boost safety.”

Whittington added that the ORR will be monitoring and enforcing the delivery of standards from services so passengers and freight customers can rely on the railway for the essential service it provides.

Other recommendations include a variable access charge increase for freight and charter operators to be capped, and charges for freight services carrying biomass for the electricity supply industry in an effort for Network Rail to recover costs for the £1bn greater investment.

Responding to the ORR’s draft determination, Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Today’s draft determination is an important step in the process to finalise our plans to deliver a safe, reliable, improving and growing railway in the five years to 2024.

“We welcome the regulator’s general support for our plans for Britain’s railways, delivering a more reliable service that passengers can rely on.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

19/06/2018Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have walked out in a fresh dispute between the union and Northern Rail over a long-runnin... more >
TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

19/06/2018TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

Bosses from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern Rail cited failures in infrastructure being completed in time and last-minute change... more >
Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

19/06/2018Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

The transport secretary is under fire in parliament today as Labour looks to draft a motion of no confidence in the Commons. The party is us... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >
Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

23/01/2018Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

RTM’s Josh Mines catches up with Mark Somers, project director for Thameslink, on how the final stages of the programme are progressing and... more >
Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enh... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

05/06/2018Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

Mark Holmes, head of membership and development at NSAR, describes the current resources available to the rail industry to ensure companies of al... more >
Moving in the right direction

05/06/2018Moving in the right direction

Alex Cropper, head of projects group at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reports on the exciting progress so far in building the Trafford... more >
Overcoming leaves on the line

05/06/2018Overcoming leaves on the line

Paul Gray, professional lead of engineering R&D at the RSSB, explains how latest research proves using double variable rate sanders on trains... more >
Rail: A woman’s world

18/05/2018Rail: A woman’s world

RTM’s Sacha Rowlands reports from a panel debate where six of the industry’s leading figures convened to discuss the fundamental issu... more >