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Railhub Archive
1996-07-09 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


New rules and new finance for a better railway

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charter trains

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Office of the Rail Regulator

New rules and new finance for a better railway

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9 July 1996
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/96/15

Rail Regulator Publishes Annual Report for 1995-96

Publishing his third Annual Report today the Rail Regulator, John Swift QC, urged operators to use the new rule based system and the new finance available to raise standards and performance.

Mr Swift said, "There are and can be no excuses. My Office will continue to drive for the harnessing of the new resources, the new rules and the new standards to produce a substantially better railway - starting now.

"The new rules are vitally important to raising standards and performance, and there is new finance available: from subsidies which are secured into the next century; from new investments promised by the first successful franchisees; and, more generally, from the private sector taking over responsibility for future investment, independently or together with the funding authorities.

"But new rules, standards and money by themselves are insufficient", he continued. "There has to be, and be seen to be, a spirit of cooperation as between interdependent companies, and a sense of confidence that the railway will repay the new investment. Those with control over essential facilities must recognise that as commercial companies they are also stewards of national assets, and develop those facilities to the benefit of users; those whose services are indispensable to the achievement of passenger network benefits must develop joint arrangements for the benefit of all passengers.

"Passengers and freight users have the right to expect that the Regulator will be vigilant in the protection of their interests, and commercial operators have the right to expect that the Regulator will give clear signals as to his own objectives. I do not seek confrontation with those upon whom passengers and users will continue to rely for safe and effective railway services. At the same time they must understand that where there is monopoly it will be controlled in the public interest; where there is a need for cooperation the Regulator will expect it to be forthcoming; and where competition can be made to work it will be promoted."

The Report covers the period 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996, and as well as the Regulator's Statement, it covers the main activities of the Office over the year, including sections on:

Access to the railway system - over the year ORR completed the process of approving the initial track and station access agreements.
Railtrack - in preparation for the flotation of Railtrack, the Regulator published a detailed statement, for inclusion in the prospectus, on the general principles he has adopted in the regulation of the railway industry and the approach he intends to take following the flotation of Railtrack. This statement is reproduced as an appendix to the Report.
Licensing and consumer protection - over the year the focus of the Regulator's role has begun to change from facilitation, guidance and setting standards to monitoring and enforcing compliance with obligations and contractual arrangements.

Consultative Committees - the Rail Users' Consultative Committees, which are sponsored by the Regulator, have recently undergone a review aimed at maximising the effectiveness of the Committees in representing the interests of railway users, whilst making the best use of resources. The results of the review, which was carried out by PA Consulting are currently being discussed with the Committees.

"Annual Report 1995-96" is available, free of charge, from the ORR Library
An audio tape version is also available.

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-07-09 ORR-001


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