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Rail Delivery Group asks for industry support

The Rail Delivery Group has said it is “essential” that it gets support from the rest of the industry and the regulators if it is to achieve its aim of making the industry more efficient and meeting the unit costs savings challenge.

Responding to the Office of Rail Regulation’s ‘GB rail financial information 2011-2012’ report, the RDG said boosting efficiency was of “paramount importance”.

Its director-general, Graham Smith (pictured above), said: “The RDG’s work on asset management, embracing new technology and identifying opportunities to improve retailing will all enhance the value for money of the industry.

“The ORR’s report demonstrates that the industry recognises the importance of increasing efficiency. Under the RDG’s leadership the industry will work to identify further ways of improving efficiency. The fresh start to the franchising process, combined with improved efficiency, will allow the rail industry to provide improved benefits to users and taxpayers.”

The ORR’s study shows that the cost of the rail industry is reducing after taking inflation into account. Farepayers are funding a greater proportion of the costs of operating the railway, allowing governmental funding to be reduced. Income from fares contributed 57.6% of the total cost of the railways for 2011/12, up from 55.8% the previous year. Government funding was 32.15%, down 1.8%, but includes significant regional variation. These figures refer to the operational costs of the railway (e.g. subsidy), not capital investment.

Smith said: “By encouraging operators, suppliers and Network Rail to work together, the RDG is creating efficiency opportunities that will come to fruition over the next five years. It is essential however, that the RDG is supported in its work by funders, regulators and stakeholders so that we can achieve our shared objective of an ever-improving railway.”

The RDG is made up substantially of train operating company representatives, as well as two freight operators and Network Rail.

It publishes summaries of its monthly meetings here.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Swman   19/04/2013 at 12:30

The RDG seems to have taken prominence for representing the views of the owning groups away from ATOC, how was this group formulated, who decides how you become a member, why is the regulator not involved and more importantly, why are private companies asking the support of the industry to deliver change? Surely if there is a real business benefit to the changes then the owning groups should be funding it as part of a grown up franchise system, rather than a one way street as we have now. Am I the only one who thinks this is just another jobs for the boys situation, and I use the terms boys deliberately? And why the title of Director General? What is he Director General of?

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