Press releases

Scrutinising delivery of Network Rail’s plan for a better railway between 2014 and 2019

13 May 2014

Content archived on 05 December 2023

Archive date
02 July 2021

In April this year, Network Rail embarked on a significant programme to deliver plans for a safer, higher performing and more efficient railway between 2014 and 2019 (known as 'control period 5'/ 'CP5'). As part of ORR's approach to scrutinising and supporting CP5, Network Rail will report on its progress more openly than ever before so that funders, including governments, taxpayers and rail users can understand better how money is being spent and monitor progress. Network Rail will for the first time publish disaggregated information on key aspects of asset management, route and train operator performance statistics, and its detailed plans to improve performance on the rail network.

ORR's Chief Executive, Richard Price said:

Network Rail, working with the rail industry, has now embarked on plans to improve the safety, performance and efficiency of Britain's railways between 2014 and 2019. Billions of pounds of funding for these plans have come from governments, taxpayers and customers - as ORR scrutinises delivery of plans, it is right that the public can monitor progress too.

Network Rail will operate more transparently in key areas, including:

  • Rail performance – New and more disaggregated data on train services will be made publicly available by Network Rail, including right time punctuality, cancelled trains and average lateness. Data will also be available on rail replacement buses, delays due to overrunning engineering work and temporary speed restrictions.  Data will also be updated each quarter on ORR's data portal to highlight areas of good performance and any emerging problems.
  • Value for money – More detailed information will be made available on the major investment programme to improve Britain's railways worth more than £12bn, in relation to completion dates, costs, and when passenger journeys will be disrupted. Updates will be published on Network Rail's website. ORR will scrutinise Network Rail's performance throughout the year, reporting on progress throughout CP5 in bi-annual 'Monitor' reports to be published in June and November.
  • Asset management – The performance of Network Rail's assets is critical to improving rail punctuality and safety in CP5. Regulatory targets have been introduced for the company's overall competence in asset management as well as the quality of data it gathers. Network Rail will publish new regional asset information, including volumes of work taking place and the condition of assets such as track, bridges, buildings, earthworks, signalling and telecoms equipment. Network Rail will publish updates each year, with statistics also available on ORR's data portal.
  • Safety – ORR will report annually on all areas of Network Rail's work to improve safety, including progress in delivering £250m worth of new equipment and safer working practices for track workers, and £99m of ring-fenced funding to close and upgrade over 500 levels crossings.
  • Climate change and resilience – As part of its CP5 obligations, Network Rail will publish plans for all routes by September 2014 listing specific and critical works required to improve resilience to climate change and extreme weather. The company will also publish a more detailed range of environmental indicators, including waste totals (landfill, waste to energy, recycled), carbon and CO2 emissions, and the condition of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Network Rail will also periodically publish a wide range of new statistics to provide a broader picture of the company's performance, such as route based track geometry and failures data. While these are not regulated targets, getting timely and accurate information on the company's progress will expose emerging problems and help ORR intervene at an early stage.

Notes to editors

  1. ORR is the independent safety and economic regulator for Great Britain's railways. Follow ORR on Twitter @railregulation.
  2. ORR has published a letter to Network Rail, setting out its position on the company's CP5 Delivery Plan and Enhancements Delivery Plan (the 'delivery plan'). This is available at:
  3. Network Rail's delivery plan, published at the start of a new funding period running from April 2014 to March 2019, sets out how the company will meet commitments to improve Britain's railways.
  4. Network Rail's performance will be assessed against around 58 regulated targets set by ORR to cover all areas of performance between 2014 and 2019.
  5. ORR will publish a bi-annual review of Network Rail's progress and provide detailed analysis and commentary on the company's delivery against targets, focussing on key areas where evidence shows improvement is required. The report at year-end will also include a scorecard presenting ORR's assessment of Network Rail's performance in the context of the whole rail industry, alongside detailed analysis of the company's financial and efficiency performance.
  6. ORR publishes a range of statistics on railway performance, rail usage and safety – to support performance evaluation, analysis and decision-making. For further information on our statistical releases and  the ORR data portal, please visit:
  7. The objectives and criteria ORR will use to evaluate the success of PR13, the multi-billion pound plan for improving Britain's railways between 2014 and 2019 are available at:
  8. To read ORR's Final Determination and summary overviews, visit:
  9. ORR's final determination is a key phase in the Periodic Review 2013. ORR sets Network Rail's funding and what the company is required to deliver based on what English, Welsh and Scottish governments want from the railways and how much money they have available to spend. For more information about PR13, visit:
  10. Data on the rail network's resilience to climate change and extreme weather will be published from September 2014.