Holding Network Rail to account

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How we will hold Network Rail (including routes, the System Operator (SO) and other relevant business units) to account against the network licence.

Our final determination for Control Period 6 (CP6) paves the way for a change in how ORR will hold Network Rail to account for delivery of the commitments in our determination, and the obligations in its network licence.

To enable this change we have created our 'Holding Network Rail to account' policy, which will supersede our existing economic enforcement policy for Network Rail.

Putting passengers first
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In February 2019, following an extensive review (“the 100-day review”), Network Rail announced that it would be making changes to how it operates. The proposal was a new model for the organisation that Network Rail considers will better align with train operators and franchises. Network Rail has confirmed that this is intended to bring track and train closer together, embed a customer service mind-set and ensure a better focus on performance. The company is implementing the programme in four phases. The first phase went live on 24 June 2019 with the creation of five regions and the devolution of parts of Infrastructure Projects and the System Operator. The final phase is expected to be completed by Summer 2020. We have reviewed the company’s detailed proposals in order to understand the impact on its commitments to customers and funders in CP6 and its relationships with stakeholders. We will continue to evaluate the company’s proposals as they develop.

More details on Network Rail’s proposals can be found on the company’s website here.

Our letters to Network Rail and the company's responses can be found below.

ORR's Opinion on Network Rail's "Putting Passengers First" (PPF) programme - Phase 2 update
19 December 2019

FNPO response to ORR letter
30 September 2019

Putting passengers first follow-up letter: additional devolution to the Scotland route
8 July 2019

Putting passengers first follow up letter: re-cut baselines and floors
Published 21 June 2019

Managing change letter to John Larkinson
31 May 2019

ORR opinion (under our Managing Change Policy) on Network Rail's "Putting Passengers First" programme
Published 28 May 2019

Publications and updates related to Putting Passengers First

Review of the adequacy of the System Operator governance arrangements in Scotland for long term network planning
In early 2020, Nichols were appointed to undertake a review of the adequacy of the governance arrangements put in place between Network Rail Scotland and the System Operator. This review concluded on 30 April 2020.
Published 29 June 2020

Managing change
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The 2018 periodic review (PR18) determined what Network Rail should deliver in respect of its role in operating, maintaining and renewing its network in control period 6 (CP6) and how the funding available should be best used to support this. This determination provided individual settlements for each of the geographical routes, the Freight and National Passenger Operators (FNPO) route and the System Operator (SO) to enable us to monitor Network Rail’s delivery at a route and an SO level, including through the use of the routes’/SO’s scorecards. We put in place a Managing Change Policy (MCP) to help manage changes to route and SO funding and PR18 requirements during CP6. Network Rail is required under its network licence to comply with this policy. The MCP applies to ‘Relevant Changes’, which are those that affect the accountability or funding of a route business and/or SO. Relevant Changes can be categorised as Level I, Level II or Level III depending on their impact and significance.

More details on our Managing Change policy can be found below.

Managing Change Policy
Published 16 November 2018