Office of Rail and Road June 2022 newsletter

30 May 2022
Feras Alshaker
Feras Alshaker
Director, Planning and Performance
Cover Image
London's Elizabeth line roundel

Welcome to the June edition of the stakeholder newsletter. 

Hello and welcome to June’s Stakeholder Newsletter.

With the country about to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, last week events started with the opening of the Elizabeth line through London. ORR was pleased to play its part in authorising the various aspects of the trains, stations and infrastructure for the line.

We have now issued approvals for all the Elizabeth line stations, confirming they meet the requirements for passenger use – Bond Street opens to passengers later this year - , as well as the overall route of the Elizabeth line’s tracks and tunnels. 
We have worked closely with the Crossrail project over the last two years to ensure it met the necessary technical, safety and accessibility requirements before it could open, as well as approving the track access contract between Rail for London (Infrastructure) Ltd, the infrastructure manager for the Crossrail Central Operating Section, and MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Ltd, the Elizabeth line operator. 

This has been just one part of the authorisation work we do across the year, another being the opening of Reston Station in Berwickshire on the East Coast Main Line, nearly 60 years after it closed, and now fully accessible.

Top Stories

Britain’s railway remains one of the safest in Europe, new ORR data reveals

ORR’s analysis found that Britain ranks the lowest for ‘whole society’ safety risk, which combines the overall average number of fatalities and serious injuries across five risk categories : for passenger, employee, level crossing user, trespasser, and other risks. For passenger safety risk Britain ranks eighth lowest overall but performs favourably in comparison to other European countries with similarly large railway networks.

Rail company fined £550,000 after regulator finds health and safety failings

Railway infrastructure company, VolkerRail Ltd. has been fined £550,000 after pleading guilty following an investigation and prosecution by ORR. The incident happened on 6 July 2014, when an employee was working in a trench as part of a project carrying out excavation work outside Stafford railway station. The wall of the trench collapsed, burying the worker, injuring them seriously. ORR’s Ian Prosser CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, emphasised: “It is important that companies working on the railways maintain relentless focus on managing risks to protect their staff.”

ORR appoints new Director of Economics, Finance and Markets

Will Godfrey has been appointed as ORR’s new Director of Economics, Finance and Markets. Will joins ORR from Ofwat, having served as a Director of the Price Review and brings with him a strong analytical background working in regulation, competition policy and consumer protection. 

We are also delighted to have Anna Rossington, Deputy Director, Regulatory Strategy and Reform and Abiola Akinwale, Head of Performance and Safety, Highways, join ORR.


20 years on: Remembering the Potters Bar crash

HM Inspector of Railways, David Bushell, remembers the tragic accident at Potters Bar on 10 May 2002.

Pulling together for better mental health in the rail industry

In his blog, Ian Prosser CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, reflects on Mental Health Awareness Week and what the industry is doing to try and change the culture around mental health.

ORR recommendations deliver more transparent smart motorway data

Adam Spencer-Bickle, Head of Highways Economics and Policy, discusses Smart Motorways and ORR’s role in holding National Highways to account scrutinising the company’s delivery of the government’s Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan.


In May, we published: