An overview of the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority for Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 2006 (as amended) (EARR).


  • allocate health and safety enforcement functions to ORR in relation to railways, tramways and other guided transport systems; and
  • clarify the respective responsibilities of ORR and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the enforcement of health and safety law in relation to railways, tramways and other guided transport systems

    About EARR

    The Railways Act 2005 transfers responsibility for railway-related health and safety matters from HSE to ORR by giving ORR responsibility for the application of Part 1 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) in respect of ‘railway safety purposes’. This means that ORR has policy responsibility for any health and safety risks that either exclusively or primarily concern the construction or operation of railways, tramways or other guided transport systems.

    The Railways Act 2005 (Amendment) Regulations 2006 remove ‘guided bus systems’ and ‘trolley vehicle systems’ from the definition of ‘railway safety purposes’, so these systems remain with HSE. These Regulations also make it clear that ‘transport system’ does not include fairground equipment as defined in section 53 of HSWA.

    EARR allocates enforcement functions to ORR and clarifies whether ORR or HSE is the enforcing authority for particular activities. ORR and HSE have created a guide to our shared interpretation for how this will work in practice in different situations.

    2023 post implementation review of EARR

    In 2023, DfT published a post-implementation review (PIR) of EARR. ORR supported DfT in gathering the evidence for this report.

    As with other PIRs, this review sought to establish whether, and to what extent, EARR was achieving the original objectives, and whether it should remain unchanged, be revoked or amended. 

    However, unlike most PIRs, these regulations have a negligible impact on businesses, and therefore the impact of the regulations was focussed on ORR, the Health and Safety Executive and the Office of Nuclear Regulation, who were each consulted as part of the review exercise. 

    DfT published the final EARR PIR report on 19 May 2023 and concluded that these regulations should remain in place.

    ORR and HSE have created a shared guidance document to help bring further clarity to our joint interpretation of enforcement responsibilities under EARR.