Office of Rail and Road November 2021 newsletter

2 November 2021
John Larkinson
John Larkinson
Chief Executive
Cover Image
Train on track

Welcome to the November edition of the stakeholder newsletter. 

In October, we published a report on how Network Rail plans for and delivers engineering works. We found that, while there have been some recent improvements, further work is required to minimise disruption to passengers and ensure public money is spent appropriately.

Improved planning, monitoring and delivery of possessions is essential in not only reducing disruption to passengers but also in reducing costs. Network Rail has responded positively to the review and we have seen progress on a number of initiatives designed to address possession inefficiencies. It is important now that when these prove successful that they are consistently shared and applied across all of the company’s regions. We have asked Network Rail to produce a clear and time-bound plan, with milestones for delivering on our recommendations, by the end of 2021, and we will closely monitor and track progress.

Top Stories

Rail Wellbeing Live 17 & 18 November 2021

Rail Wellbeing Live is a chance for the whole industry to get together online to focus on our health and wellbeing. Creating a happier, healthier future for everyone. It’s a two-day virtual event where you can ‘pick and mix’ what you want to do and dip in and out when you like. You can register for free on the Rail Wellbeing Live website.

ORR safety inspector, Kathryn Gibb, features on BBC Defenders

ORR safety inspector, Kathryn Gibb, recently spoke to the BBC for their Defenders UK series  regarding the Renown prosecution – when Renown Consultants Limited was fined following an ORR prosecution for failing to ensure two workers were rested.

Rail travel started to rebound between April and June 2021

National statistics published by ORR show that rail travel started to rebound between April and June 2021, following the gradual easing of government Covid restrictions. Overall, there were 182 million rail passenger journeys made between April and June this year. This is more than five times the 35 million journeys made in the same quarter last year (April to June 2020).


RIS2: Achieving real efficiency

Achieving real efficiencies is one of the six outcomes that National Highways (formerly Highways England) is required to deliver as part of the Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) for England. In this blog, Colin Hudman (ORR’s senior financial analyst, highways) discusses this issue further.

Statistical Releases


The Rail & Road Pod - Series 2 - Episode 8: Aln Valley

On this, the second episode focusing on heritage railways, the Rail and Road Pod visits Aln Valley Railway in Northumberland to continue the discussion on how ORR and the heritage sector are collaborating to promote safety.

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