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Railhub Archive
1997-12-10 RTK-001
Railtrack plc


Statement on the Periodic Review of Railtrack's access charges from the office of the Rail Regulator

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Office of the Rail Regulator
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Railtrack plc

Statement on the Periodic Review of Railtrack's access charges from the office of the Rail Regulator

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2001-12-14 Bowker and Grant welcome new Railtrack appointments (Strategic Rail Authority)


10 December 1997
source Railtrack plc
type Press release

Railtrack welcomes the Regulator's early issue of a consultation paper on the periodic review. We shall be studying the details with a view to developing a constructive response. The paper sets out clearly the important issues to be addressed in the Review. It shows a willingness to draw on best practice from other utility sectors and consider new approaches.

The review will determine how much Railtrack is able to invest in renewal and enhancement of the network in the period from 2001. As such, it will determine how far we are able to meet the aspirations of our customers for growth and service improvements - building on the substantial progress we are already making.

We hope that the review will recognise the increased level of risk which Railtrack is prepared to accept and we support the Regulator's proposal to review the structure - as well as the level - of access charges with a view to encouraging development of the network.

We also welcome the commitment to an open and transparent process. We believe it is important to ensure that the views of our different stakeholders are properly reflected in the process and there is the opportunity to consider how far the rail system can contribute more widely to the Government's Integrated Transport Policy goals.

Gerald Corbett, Chief Executive at Railtrack said: "We shall look to the Regulator to take account of the benefits accruing to our customers from the current high level of investment spending that we are undertaking. This is substantially above that assumed by him in setting the current level of access charges. This year's asset related investment will be well over £1 billion - over twice that of the level pre privatisation. Our plans are to increase that rate of annual investment up to the periodic review in 2000/01."

Railtrack is making substantial improvements in both performance and efficiency. It is important that the approach adopted by the Regulator in resetting charges maintains the incentives for further efficiency gains and provides scope for out-performance after 2001. His approach to reviewing the performance regime, under which Railtrack is incentivised to reduce delays, will have an important bearing on this.

The Regulator has a duty under Section 4 of the Railways Act to have regard to the need not to make it unduly difficult for Railtrack to finance its activities. We are pleased to note that the Regulator has reaffirmed the significance that ratios, such as interest and dividend cover, can play in complying with this duty.

Railtrack will work constructively with the Regulator to achieve an outcome from the Review which meets the aspirations of its customers, shareholders and the wider community.

Railhub Archive ::: 1997-12-10 RTK-001


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