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Revised EDP still has risks, but approved to get industry ‘back to business as usual’

Changes to Network Rail’s regulated outputs in its revised England and Wales Enhancements Delivery Plan (EDP) could have “been clearer” but were approved to get the industry “back to business as usual”, an Office of Rail and Road (ORR) letter reveals.

The regulator said that there were some areas where Network Rail's obligations could be clearer, but to “be pragmatic and to ensure a baseline is quickly re-established following the Hendy review, we're approving changes”.

Graham Richards, director of railway planning and performance at the ORR, said the clarifications largely do not impact regulatory milestones, but it is in “everyone’s interest that Network Rail’s regulatory obligations are clear”.

It was noted that although the Hendy re-plan concluded in December 2015, the DfT has consulted on its proposals, and is now considering its response.

“Therefore, this England and Wales change control is not following usual practice,” said Richards. “The submission from Network Rail represents the Hendy re-plan in the form of a revised England and Wales EDP, and does not include the usual evidence that stakeholders and funders views have been taken into account for each change.

“These will come following the DfT conclusion of its consultation, which needs to consider the views of stakeholders together with the funds DfT has available.”

He added that once the DfT concludes, Network Rail will need to submit change controls for “any affected project” in time for the next change control submission.

Richards noted that although the revised EDP sets a new baseline following the Hendy review, there are “risks” – identified in Nichols independent assurance report – and it will be reviewing progress against recommendations “to improve confidence in dates”.

(Image c. Network Rail)


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