Railway safety and crime

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

Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

23/05/2019Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

Scrapping HS2 would be a “disaster” and would undermine Britain’s “national prosperity for decades to come,” more t... more >
Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

23/05/2019Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

Network Rail has announced five new regional managing directors as part of its “evolution” towards a more passenger-focused approach.... more >
£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

22/05/2019£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

Network Rail has awarded contracts for rail haulage and the operations of its engineering trains and seasonal treatment services for Control Peri... 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 >

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. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

23/05/2019Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

The Midlands 30-year plan will deliver many economic benefits and will need a wide and diverse supply chain to deliver some of the key projects. We caught up with long running sponsors of TransCityRail, Bridgeway Consulting Limited, specialists in Site & Ground investigations, Geomatics and Infrastructure, to discuss why networking events ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >