ORR says rail industry must do more
London, United Kingdom – Chris Bolt, Chairman of the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), 2006-06-27 challenged the rail industry to build on improved performance and develop a new partnership to meet rising customer expectations and increasing demand for rail services. Speaking at an Institute of Economic Affairs conference in London, Chris Bolt said:
“Network Rail’s strategic business plan due to be published next week will outline what the company thinks the future demands on the railway are, and what it needs to do to meet them.
“The plan will be a key input into ORR’s Periodic Review of Network Rail’s outputs, expenditure and access charges. It will also inform the work by the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland to set out what they expect the railway to deliver, and the amount of funding available, to be completed by July 2007.
“Network Rail now needs to work with train operators to develop its proposed strategy into an industry plan to deliver the needs of customers and the requirements of government. This will require a new partnership both at the national level, and at route level between Network Rail and individual operators”.
Chris Bolt said that the rail industry had made significant progress to improve performance and customer satisfaction, but it could not stand still. The rail industry needs to:
- make further improvements in efficiency to improve value for money for users and funders;
- make better use of capacity and targeted enhancements to meet increased demand for rail, both for passengers and freight;
- develop innovative approaches to improving customer service and stations;
- find ways of reducing the impact of disruptions to the network caused by engineering work;
- review its effectiveness in improving its environmental performance and contributing to sustainable development; and
- achieve continuous improvement in safety through better and focused management.
Chris Bolt also said that ORR will shortly be publishing a document on the incentive framework in the railway industry. He added: “Alignment of incentives between train operators and Network Rail, and their suppliers, will be essential for an effective partnership to be developed around the common goal of meeting customer needs and improving value for money.”