New General Approval and guidance for freight facility access contracts


Consultation outcome

Our conclusions letter sets out a high-level summary of the changes from the previous General Approval (GA), the consultation questions asked, a summary of the responses received, our comments, and any actions that we have taken or will take in response.

Conclusions letter
Published 19 February 2018

General Approval for freight facility access agreements 2018
Published 19 February 2018

Consultation responses
Published 19 February 2018

Summary of changes

The changes in the new GA are:

  • Expanding the definition of “Railway Facility” to include a wider range of facilities.
  • Removing the limitation that required parties to apply for specific approval for a new agreement if their existing agreement was entered into under the GA.
  • Updating of Office of Rail Regulation to Office of Rail and Road throughout.
  • Refinement of the definitions to remove those included in the Act, the2016 Regulations and Network Code.
  • Removal of the explanatory notes.
  • Changing the format of the GA so it is more like the style we have adopted for other GAs.

July 2017 consultation

Date published: 24 July 2017
Closing date: 24 September 2017, 5pm.

The purpose of this consultation was to seek views on a proposed new General Approval for freight facility access, to replace the Freight Facility (Ports and Terminals) General Approval 2011 and a new guidance module for facility access.

The new General Approval expands its scope from ports and terminals to all freight facilities which are not light or heavy maintenance depots, allows for contracts of up to 10 years to be approved in certain circumstances, and includes modifications to make the General Approval shorter and easier to use. A copy of the Freight Facility (Ports and Terminals) General Approval 2011 is included in the documents below to compare the changes.

The new guidance covers how ORR will deal with applications for new facility access contracts and amendments to existing contracts.

We invited views on the new General Approval and guidance. Although we welcomed any comments that you had, we asked you to consider these specific questions in particular:

  • Q1. Is the proposal to allow contracts of longer duration under the proposed GA suitable? If not, how long a duration should be allowed and why?
  • Q2. Do you have any comments on the other proposed changes to the GA, or any amendments we have not included which you think we should consider?
  • Q3. Would the proposed guidance be useful to you when making an application or when considering the regulatory regime for your facility? Are there any changes or additions to the guidance you think we should consider?

There was also a short survey to assist us with assessing the potential impact of these proposals on businesses.

Consultation documents