Market monitoring


We have a duty to keep the provision of railway services under review and to take appropriate measures where markets are not working to the benefit of users or funders.

There are a number of ways in which we perform our market monitoring duties. These include:

  • Undertaking market reviews. ORR may initiate a market review in response to a complaint; information from an interested party, or its own intelligence gathering. We may also initiate a market review in response to a super-complaint under the Enterprise Act 2002.
  • Undertaking formal market studies under the Enterprise Act 2002. Generally following an initial market review, ORR may undertake a more in-depth examination into the causes of why particular markets may not be working well. We will then consider how those causes may be best addressed by the most appropriate means. One possible outcome is a market investigation reference to the Competition and Markets Authority, who have extensive powers to remedy market issues.

Aside from these tools, ORR can also give directions, on its own initiative, to businesses to correct market distortions, or address undesirable developments under the Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations 2016.

Current studies

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There are no current studies.


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We have published a guidance document on our approach to monitoring and reviewing markets which provides further detail on how we intend to fulfil our responsibilities and use our powers. We have also published prioritisation criteria, in order to help us focus our resource in a way that delivers most value from our interventions.

Suggestions for markets to review

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We normally assess and identify areas and markets on which to focus our activities on an annual basis. We welcome suggestions from businesses and consumers as to where they feel would benefit from a review or possible intervention.

If you wish to make a suggestion to us, please consult our guidance document and then use our Market Proposal Form at Annex C to provide your views and any supporting information that you might have.