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2000-09-28 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator

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Regulator proposes controls on railway assets and land disposal


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Office of the Rail Regulator

Regulator proposes controls on railway assets and land disposal
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date
28 September 2000
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/00/32


The Rail Regulator, Tom Winsor, has today published further proposed modifications to Railtrack's network licence to make it fit to meet Railtrack's public interest obligations.

Commenting on the proposed modifications, Tom Winsor said: "Railtrack exercises stewardship over assets of strategic importance to the current operation and future development of the railway network. Safeguards are needed to protect against the disposal of these assets, including land, which once lost to the railway industry would be prohibitively expensive to replace. I am therefore consulting interested parties on proposals to control asset disposals by Railtrack.

"Railtrack benefits from substantial public funding and it is important to make sure that Railtrack focuses its resources on the core business of maintaining and developing the railway network. For that reason, I am also proposing that assets within Railtrack's regulated business should be ring-fenced, as is already the practice in a number of other regulated utilities."

A copy of Consultation on proposed modifications to Railtrack's network licence: disposal of assets and ring fencing is available from here as an Acrobat file or in hard copy from the ORR Librarian, Sue MacSwan, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London EC1N 2TQ, tel: 020 7282 2001, fax: 020 7282 2045, e-mail: orr@dial.pipex.com.



PRESS ENQUIRIES:

ORR Press Office - 020 7282 2007 / 2002
Out of hours - pager 07659 127303

Notes for editors:

When he was appointed Rail Regulator last year, Tom Winsor said that Railtrack's network licence was not fit for the purpose of regulating a private sector company with essential public service obligations. Over the past six months the Rail Regulator has published eight proposed licence modifications aimed at improving Railtrack's accountability to the public interest. These have included proposed requirements for Railtrack to deal fairly and competently with its customers and third parties, to establish and maintain a comprehensive register of the condition, capacity and capability of its assets, and to appoint independent reporters who will verify the information needed for the effective regulation of Railtrack.
Asset disposal condition - similar conditions have been included in the transmission licence for the national Grid Company plc, and in Transco's public gas transporter licence. In addition, the proposed standard licence conditions for the electricity distribution companies and the licence conditions of certain water companies contain conditions restricting the disposal of assets.
Ring-fencing condition - since Railtrack was privatised, licences held by many regulated network businesses have been modified to introduce more detailed ring-fencing provisions. In some cases this has been prompted by the takeover of a regulated business by another company (as has happened with several electricity and water companies), and in other cases by an expansion of a regulated company's non-regulated activities.
In the course of the consultation process, concerns were registered by local authorities over the disposal of the following Railtrack sites:
Bristol City Council Bristol Bath Road, Severn Beach line, Portishead line, Filton-Henbury-Severnside line.
Cambridgeshire County Council Chesterton sidings, 'up' side of Whittlesford station.
Cardiff County Council Pengam terminal, Cardiff Cathays depot, Radyr, Canton ISIS link depot, Ely paper mill site.
Carrick District Council Site adjacent Richmond Road, Truro.
Conwy County Borough Council Llandudno junction marshalling yard and exchange sidings.
Dorset County Council Furzebrook sidings, Gillingham freight siding, Holton Heath freight siding, Maiden Newton sidings, Wareham sidings, Weymouth-Jubilee sidings, Weymouth Quay/tramway branch, Weymouth Station car park/tramway branch, Weymouth 'tennis court' sidings, Winfrith UKAEA siding, Wool 'up' siding.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council Goole station.
Essex County Council Hythe, Colchester.
East Sussex County Council Part of Hastings station car park, Ore depot.
Gwynedd Council Penrhyndeudraeth.
Maidstone Borough Council Staplehurst station yard.
West Dumbartonshire Council Land adjacent Dumbarton Central station.
West Lothian Council Darwhinnie station, Kelmet halt, Bathgate, West Calder.



Railhub Archive ::: 2000-09-28 ORR-001





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