Who we are

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As an independent regulator, we operate within the framework set by UK legislation and are accountable through Parliament and the courts.

We are an independent statutory body, with powers vested by Parliament in our governing board.

Our board is responsible for setting our strategy and overseeing its delivery. Board members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport for a fixed term of up to five years. Our team of executive directors is responsible for delivering the board's objectives and business plan, in line with our legal duties.

Our staff work from six offices across Britain, giving us the flexibility and coverage we need to perform our functions efficiently. Many of our people work away from the office, for example by conducting on-site inspections across the rail network.

Who we are and what we do

Who we are and what we do - Video transcript Collapse accordion Open accordion

Errol Galloway, HM Principal Inspector of Railways

ORR is actually the regulatory body, the enforcing authority for health and safety on the British Railways.

If you think of HSE, we are literally the HSE of the Railways.

Kathryn Gibb, HM Inspector of Railways

We'll go out and we'll inspect various we call them duty holders, but they're basically railway companies, like train operating companies.

We look at what we think are the biggest risks in an organisation and then we'll base our inspections around those risks.

Monica Babb, HM Inspector of Railways

The work that we do gives people confidence to be able to use the railway, the fact that we are liaising regularly with the dutyholders to understand what they're doing and how they're working.

Feras Alshaker, Director of Planning & Performance

Beyond the mainline railway, ORR regulates non mainline Railways, so trams subsurface systems like the London Underground or the Glasgow Metro, and Heritage Railways as well.

Steve Turner, HM Principal Inspector of Railways

Heritage Railways have their own separate legislation called ROGS, which is the Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems regulations, which apply to the mainline, but in terms of heritage Railways, they have to have a proportionate safety management system for their particular operation.

Feras Alshaker, Director of Planning & Performance

We hold to account National Highways, that operates the motorways and main A roads in England.

Louise Butcher, Senior Highways Policy Adviser

Our job is to hold National Highways to account for delivery against the road investment strategy. It's to make sure that it's delivering against the requirements of its licence, and it's to make sure that it's delivering all of this as efficiently as possible.

Haydn Gill, Senior Performance Analyst, Highways team

We have pushed on a lot of performance issues, maintenance, renewals, make sure that the roads that are getting resurfaced are the ones that need resurfacing the most, that they are the right asset at the right time.

We've pushed very hard to sort of increase data on the network, so making sure that we're doing the best that we can for road users.

Lyndsey Melbourne, Head of Information and Analysis

We are the accredited primary producer of rail industry official statistics.

Our published statistics provide users with the latest results and trends in a range of key areas for the rail industry.

Peter Moran, Business Intelligence Manager

We publish all of our statistical outputs on the data portal. That's a one stop shop for all of our rail statistics, we publish data tables, infographics, statistical releases, interactive charts.

Muhammad Hashir, Business Intelligence Developer

The beauty of dashboards are that they are much more easier to use. It's visually comparable year to year or month to month or quarter to quarter.

Jacqui Russell, Head of Consumer Team

Our job is to set the standards that rail companies have to meet.

  • First of those is around passenger information.
  • Second, around accessible travel, ensuring that everybody is able to travel, including those who need assistance.
  • Third is around ticketing and access to refunds.
  • And finally, just in case things go wrong, complaints handling and redress.

Sam McClelland Hodgson, Network Regulation Manager

We hold Network Rail to account for the performance and services that it said it would deliver, as well as for what it said it would deliver it for the funding.

Esther Sumner, Head of Access Reform Delivery

The network for our system operator is one of the national functions that Network Rail has.

It deals with lots of stuff that's happened to think is really important and you experience every day, but you probably don't really think about, so: 

  • what the timetable is how trains access the network; 
  • the forward planning that happens about how the Railways should develop; 
  • and it also deals with rates, customer information, national passengers and kind of network operations issues.

Cherry Lam, Civil Engineer – Engineering and Asset Management

As a server engineer in or the main aspect of our work is to monitor and holding Network Rail to account on managing, maintaining, renewing the infrastructure assets.

Rail network is technically complex and challenging in that you plan, build and maintain network around existing constraints while minimising the impact to the public.

Ollie Stewart, RAIB Recommendation Handling Manager

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch investigates railway accidents and near misses and then may make recommendations and it is the responsibility of ORR to decide who should act upon those recommendations and how they should be acted upon as well.

Justin McCracken, Deputy Chairman of the Board

I think the greatest value that ORR brings is our ability to provide impartial commentary and put material out into the public domain that will benefit from public scrutiny.

Madeleine Hallward, Chair of the Highways Committee

Too often there's a disconnect in the way that we think about passengers and people who are travelling around both rail and road, and ORR has a very different perspective from lots of other bodies because it has a much more comprehensive oversight.

Declan Collier, Chairman of the Board

The rail and road sectors that we have responsibility for are going through some pretty challenging and changing times.

We've been at the centre in particular of the discussions that have been taking place around the rail reform programme and the role that we will play in the future I think is really exciting.

You'll see the role that we do moving more from the traditional type of regulator's role to one in which we are expected to provide oversight of what's happening within the sector.

But also we'll be providing assurance to the government and the funding organisations that the aspirations that they have for the strategic road network and the rail sector to deliver for the consumer for the passenger and the road user is actually delivered.

Who we are and what we do infographic.

The board

We are governed by a board responsible for setting our strategy and overseeing its delivery.

Executive Directors

Details of our Executive Directors leadership team.

Committees

The board has four standing committees and their terms of reference are included in the board's rules of procedure.

Register of interests

The register of interests of board members is reviewed annually and updated each time an individual's interests change.

Board meeting minutes

ORR's board meets around ten times a year (monthly except August and December). The minutes are approved at the next meeting and these form our corporate record.