Today, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) publishes our 2016/17 Business Plan.
We have set out the context of our work, to protect the interests of road and rail users, through our priorities for the coming 12 months and in what will be a changing year for the railway.
We will focus on delivering the following strategic objectives:
A safer railway: Protecting passengers, the workforce and the travelling public is at the heart of what we do. We will continue to hold industry to account to deliver safety improvements, focusing especially on level crossings, the train-to-platform gap, and through overseeing better design at the outset.
Better customer service: Our response to the recent ‘super-complaint’ highlights more which can be done to deliver a better deal for passengers in respect of compensation for delays. We shall, as promised, monitor operators’ progress closely here, as indeed we shall on complaints handling, on provision for disabled passengers, and on information provided during disruptions.
Value for money from the railway: The rail network is in the middle of a challenging, multi-billion pound investment programme. We want to see the infrastructure owner, train operator and freight company working together to improve efficiency and boost value for money for taxpayers, fare payers and funders. We will continue to monitor and report on Network Rail’s performance to help ensure that it operates as a world-class, efficient asset management company.
Better highways: Highways England now has a £15bn, five-year plan with eight specific targets. Our role is to monitor its progress on this. These targets include a 40% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured by 2020; a road user satisfaction score of 90% by March 2017; clearing 85% of incidents within an hour; and making £1.2 billion of savings on capital expenditure.
Promoting a dynamic and commercially sustainable rail sector: Our vision for the future will be set out in our first core document outlining the next Periodic Review, “PR18”, which we will consult on from later in the Spring.
Building on the recommendations of the Shaw review, PR18 will consider options for route based regulation, underpinned by a strong system operator and for an effective charging and incentives regime for Network Rail as the network monopoly.
High performing regulation: Structural and funding changes shaping both the rail and road networks mean that a high performing regulator is more vital than ever. We are continually developing our professional expertise to ensure maximum, positive impact. Working across rail and road in a joined up manner is also supporting us in developing and applying proportionate, risk-based regulation.