Periodic review 2023: draft determination

Consultation status
Conclusions published
Date of publication

Consultation on our assessment of Network Rail’s plans with respect to its operation, support, maintenance and renewal of the national rail network in control period 7.

Consultation outcome

31 October 2023

We have published our PR23 final determination, which includes our overall decisions on Network Rail's outputs and funding for control period 7 (2024 to 2029).

PR23 draft determination

We have published our draft determination for the 2023 periodic review (PR23).

ORR’s periodic review process is one of the principal mechanisms by which we hold Network Rail to account and secure value for money for users and funders of the railway.

Our focus during PR23 has remained on the four objectives we outlined in our launch letter in June 2021: safety, performance, asset sustainability and efficiency.

Control period 7 (CP7) covers the five-year period from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2029.

Key themes

  • Our draft determination sets out our views on Network Rail’s plans for spending £44.8 billion for Britain’s rail network (£40.0 billion for England and Wales, £4.8 billion for Scotland) from April 2024 to March 2029 - the period known as Control Period 7 (CP7).
  • Our assessment identifies that while Network Rail’s plans largely deliver against government priorities, a greater focus is needed on train performance and renewing core assets.
  • Better train performance will benefit passengers and freight customers, while core assets like track, structures and earthworks need to be resilient - especially with the challenges presented by climate change.

Summaries of our draft decisions for England & Wales and for Scotland

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Consolidated table of decisions for England & Wales and Scotland

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Introduction document

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Introduction providing an overview of the PR23 process, our approach to assessing Network Rail’s plans and next steps.

Settlement documents

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Supporting documents

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Supporting documents which set out our technical assessments in the areas of: health and safety, outcomes, sustainable and efficient costs, national functions and income.

We've also published a list of consultants and independent reporters' studies for PR23.

Advice to governments

During 2022 we provided advice to the UK Government and Scottish Ministers about Network Rail’s funding requirements for its operations, support, maintenance and renewals activity for control period 7 and what it could deliver for that funding. We have published this advice:

Our advice reflects the wider economic context and Network Rail’s CP7 plans at the time of production and should be read in that context. 

Since the advice was prepared, Network Rail has produced its strategic business plans and ORR has published its PR23 draft determination. 

Where values (£m) or the assessment of plans differs from the June PR23 draft determination, the draft determination takes precedence – as will the final determination when published. 

Policy positions

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Policy positions covering access charges, performance and possessions incentive regimes, our intended approach for the financial framework and for managing change during CP7.

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 UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK 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 UK GDPR 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.