Competition work on open access

Body
Components

We continue to monitor the market for open access rail services. 

28 April 2022

Our 2022 monitoring report is the latest of a series of annual publications. In addition to our regular analysis, our latest publication is accompanied by an economic appraisal of historic open access operator entry on the East Coast Main Line. 

We will continue to gather and collate data on these metrics and compare outcomes as our monitoring approach evolves.  

We continue to keep our monitoring framework under review, both in terms of the metrics that we monitor, and our approach. Specifically, we focus on considering the impact of the post-pandemic recovery and the emerging rail reform agenda on operators.

We intend to continue to monitor the market for open access in a proportionate way. We value stakeholder input into this process and we therefore welcome comments and suggestions from interested parties. These can be submitted by email to competition@orr.gov.uk

March 2021 update Collapse accordion Open accordion

18 March 2021

In February 2020 we published our first report on our open access competition monitoring work. The 2020 report constituted a baseline, and an evidence base to be built on over time. We followed this up with an update published in March 2021.

The metrics that we monitor to assess market performance and passenger outcomes include a number of quality metrics (complaints, delay compensation, passenger satisfaction, punctuality and age of rolling stock).

We will continue to gather and collate data on these metrics, and compare outcomes with the baseline to identify any changes and trends. The sample of operators that we present evidence on will evolve as existing OAOs expand their services and new OAOs commence operations on the network.

As more evidence becomes available, the outputs of our monitoring will feed into our consideration of open access applications and the assumptions underlining our decision making tools. It will also act as an indicator of how well the market is functioning from a competition and regulatory compliance perspective.

We continue to keep our monitoring framework under review, both in terms of the metrics that we monitor, and our approach. A particular issue going forward will be the the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on passenger rail numbers. 

Report on our open access competition monitoring work Collapse accordion Open accordion

5 February 2020

We have published our first report on our open access competition monitoring work. This report constitutes our baseline, and we will build on this evidence base over time.

The metrics we are monitoring to assess market performance and passenger outcomes include a number of quality metrics (complaints, delay compensation, passenger satisfaction, punctuality and age of rolling stock), and data on fares and revenue.

We will continue to gather and collate data on these metrics, and compare outcomes with the baseline to identify any changes and trends. The sample of operators that we present evidence on will evolve as existing OAOs expand their services and new OAOs commence operations on the network.

As more evidence becomes available, the outputs of our monitoring will feed into our consideration of open access applications and the assumptions underlining our decision making tools. It will also act as an indicator of how well the market is functioning from a competition and regulatory compliance perspective.

We continue to keep our monitoring framework under review, both in terms of the metrics that we monitor, and our approach.

ORR publishes update on its competition work on open access Collapse accordion Open accordion

27 March 2019

Open access operators play an important role in promoting competition on the railway. The dynamic created by on-rail competition delivers demonstrable benefits to passengers; provides comparators to inform franchising decisions; and better holds Network Rail to account in its role of identifying and allocating capacity.

As such, ORR supports more ‘on-rail’ competition, where this is in accordance with our statutory duties.

In December 2018, we launched a piece of work to develop a framework for monitoring the impact of, and response to, open access competition.  We set out to do this to ensure that the right conditions are created for competition to be fostered, through the presence of open access operators.

Since launching this work, we have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including train operators, Network Rail, and other UK competition regulators. The evidence and feedback we gathered has informed the design of our monitoring framework, and our update document, published today, sets out what metrics we intend to monitor on an ongoing basis, and how.

We intend to commence our monitoring activities later in 2019 and will continue to keep our monitoring framework under review to ensure it remains as useful and robust as possible.

Open access update document

Open access monitoring – Update on ORR’s plans to monitor the impact of, and response to, open access
27 March 2019

ORR launches competition work on open access Collapse accordion Open accordion

3 December 2018

ORR supports more ‘on-rail’ competition where it delivers sustainable benefits to passengers. The dynamic created by on-rail competition delivers demonstrable benefits to passengers; provides comparators to inform franchising decisions; and better holds Network Rail to account in its role of identifying and allocating capacity.

We have launched a piece of work which will deliver a framework for monitoring the impact of, and response to, open access competition.  Doing so will help us to better understand the challenges that OAOs face in trying to establish themselves in the GB market, and enable us to spot any problems early.

We will also produce information for industry participants on what, in the context of open access, ORR considers in broad terms to constitute anti-competitive behaviour, as opposed to a competitive response. This will increase transparency for industry on what we expect of them, and inform how we use our competition enforcement powers.

Open access launch document

Open access monitoring - ORR's plans to monitor the impact of, and response to, open access - 3 December 2018