ORR publishes final rail spending plan

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has set out the final draft of its proposals for rail funding and performance over the next five years.

The industry regulator has scaled back its original savings target of £2 billion for Network Rail to £1.7 billion for CP5.

New punctuality targets will also require nine out of 10 regional train services to run on time and a new regulated target for long distance services will be introduced.

Between 2014-19, Network Rail will receive more than £21 billion to cover the day-to-day operation of the railway and £5 billion to carry out maintenance work. A further £12 billion has been pledged towards enhancements, of which £7 billion will be allocated in 2015 when firmer project delivery plans have been put in place.

The ORR has said that the funding will require Network Rail to reduce the cost of running the network by 20 per cent.

The final determination also puts an emphasis on safety, with £109 million of ring-fenced funds to pay for the closures of 500 level crossings and £250 million to improve track worker safety.

ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “Network Rail has made great strides in improving safety, performance and efficiency on Britain’s railways. Supported by significant levels of funding from governments, working more closely with the rest of the industry, and learning important lessons from the past, the company is capable of delivering more for customers and taxpayers.”

Network Rail have until February 7, 2014, to either accept or reject the ORR’s proposals.

David Higgins, chief executive, said: “The next five years for the railway will prove to be a critical challenge. A challenge to continue to respond to rising passenger demand and our need to grow and expand the network while at the same time juggling the ever harder challenges of improving performance, reducing cost and delivering huge investment projects from which substantial social and economic benefits flow.

“The determination has to be right to help the company, and the railway as a whole, succeed and deliver what’s needed by passengers, freight users and the taxpayer.

“We must now look at the individual targets within the determination, as well as the package as a whole and welcome the opportunity provided by the ORR to use the coming months to seek clarification and work through the detail.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Rail News

Roman busts uncovered in HS2 dig on display at Discover Bucks Museum

Visitors to the Discover Bucks Museum in Aylesbury will soon be given the opportunity to see the incredibly rare...

More like this...