Office of Rail Regulation

Office of Rail Regulation

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The Office of Rail Regulation (the Regulator) is the independent economic and safety regulator of the rail industry in England, Scotland and Wales. The Regulator's duties include promoting economy and efficiency in the rail industry with much of its work focusing on Network Rail, the owner and monopoly provider of the national rail network, including track, signalling and stations. Network Rail does not face normal commercial pressures from investors and lenders to improve efficiency as it is a not-for-dividend company without shareholders, financed by debt guaranteed by the Government. It is therefore the role of the Regulator to hold Network Rail to account for its performance and to incentivise it to become more efficient. The Regulator sets efficiency targets when it determines the limits on fees Network Rail can charge train operators for use of tracks, stations and depots. Sir Roy McNulty's recent review of the rail industry showed that the rail industry continued to fail to achieve effective value for money. The Committee states that the Regulator did not exert sufficient pressure on Network Rail to improve its efficiency, and that there is an absence of effective sanctions for under-performance in the system and should enforce a stronger link between performance and bonus payments to Network Rail's senior managers. The relationship between Network Rail, the Regulator and their advisors appears to the Committee to be too cosy. Network Rail should be more accountable for its use of public money, and more transparent in its operations. The Committee sets out 11 conclusions and recommendations.If you look at the movement in capital prices relative to RPI, over the five year period, these things can rise that much. Chair: It is crazy. Q18 Matthew Hancock: Why did Network Rail not ensure that its input inflation was lower than 8% above RPI? Chair: Mr Higgins? ... Let us deal with numbers. We agree with the numbers in the Report here, but ifl can make it clear, when we exit Control Period 3-a€”weanbsp;...

Title:Office of Rail Regulation
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2011-07-12


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