Consultation on updating the holding Network Rail to account policy for CP7

Consultation status
Conclusions published
Date of publication

This consultation seeks feedback on updating the Holding Network Rail to Account policy for control period 7.

Consultation outcome

On 31 October 2023 we published our final determination for control period 7 (CP7), including the updated Holding to Account policy that will apply from the start of CP7 on 1 April 2024.

April 2023 consultation

We are consulting on an updated version of our 'holding Network Rail to account' policy for control period 7 (CP7). The policy:

  • sets out how we will hold Network Rail to account for delivery of the commitments in our PR23 final determination and the obligations in its network licence
  • explains how we will monitor performance, escalate and investigate potential issues and where necessary, take enforcement action.

Our PR23 policy framework consultation conclusions in December 2022 confirmed that we would refresh and update the policy for CP7. We would not however make significant changes to the underlying principles, tools and approach, reflecting that we consider them fit for purpose in the current context and ahead of rail reform.

Changes to the holding to account policy 

We are particularly seeking stakeholders’ views on how the updated document reflects areas that we have already consulted on as part of our new policy approach for CP7:

  • our new outcomes framework
  • new non-exhaustive indicative criteria

We are also seeking views on the general structure and wording of the document, where we have looked to increase clarity on our processes.

More detail on the rationale behind the changes can be found in the covering consultation letter. We have published a full draft policy document as part of this consultation, which should be read as if it were to be the final version of the document.

Next steps

We will publish our revised policy after we have taken your feedback into account from the consultation and made any necessary amendments. We expect to publish this following publication of our final determination, which is expected in October 2023.

Publishing your response

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We plan to publish all responses to this consultation on our website.

Should you wish for any information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that this may be subject to publication, or release to other parties or to disclosure, in accordance with the access to information regimes. These regimes are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR,) the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Under the FOIA, there is a statutory code of practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this, if you are seeking confidentiality for information you are providing, please explain why. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information, we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on ORR.

If you are seeking to make a response in confidence, we would also be grateful if you would annex any confidential information, or provide a non-confidential summary, so that we can publish the non-confidential aspects of your response.

Any personal data you provide to us will be used for the purposes of this consultation and will be handled in accordance with our privacy notice which sets out how we comply with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.


In responding to this consultation you consent to us:

  • handling your personal data for the purposes of this consultation;
  • publishing your response on our website (unless you have indicated to us that you wish for your response to be treated as confidential as set out above.)

Your consent to either of the above can be withdrawn at any time. Further information about how we handle your personal data and your rights is set out in our privacy notice.

Format of responses

So that we are able to apply web standards to content on our website, we would prefer that you email us your response either in Microsoft Word format or OpenDocument Text (.odt) format. ODT files have a fully open format and do not rely on any specific piece of software.

If you send us a PDF document, please:

  • create it directly from an electronic word-processed file using PDF creation software (rather than as a scanned image of a printout); and
  • ensure that the PDF's security method is set to no security in the document properties.