Office of Rail Regulation to be re-named Office of Rail and Road

20 March 2015

The Office of Rail Regulation will change its name to the Office of Rail and Road to reflect new responsibilities for monitoring the efficiency and performance of England's strategic road network from 1 April 2015, Roads Minister John Hayes announced in a speech yesterday.

Last year the UK government announced a £15bn roads investment plan for England's strategic roads network between 2015/16 and 2020/21. Through the Infrastructure Act 2015, reforms have also been made to the structure of the sector to support this programme of investment. From 1 April 2015, the Highways Agency will become a government-owned company, Highways England, with specific performance improvements and investment to deliver over the five year funding period. ORR will take on the responsibility to independently monitor and enforce the performance and efficiency of Highways England. Passenger Focus will become Transport Focus, taking on additional responsibility to protect and promote the interests of road users.

ORR will work to secure improved performance and efficiency as well as safety and sustainability from the strategic road network to benefit road users and the public. ORR will focus on increasing transparency, making more information available on Highways England's performance and provide robust advice to the Secretary of State on future performance requirements. ORR will forge synergies between its rail and roads functions, sharing experience between the two roles, and drawing on joint support functions for rail and roads.

ORR will provide more detail on its proposed approach to monitoring the strategic road network in a consultation document to be published on 26 March.

To keep updated on ORR's strategic road monitoring work, follow @highwaysmonitor on Twitter, and sign-up to receive ORR's email alerts.

To read Roads Minister John Hayes's speech, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/turning-to-the-future

Note: Use of the name, the Office of Rail and Road, reflects the new roads functions conferred on the Office by the Infrastructure Act 2015. Until this name change is confirmed by legislation in October 2015, the Office of Rail Regulation will continue to be used in all documents, decisions and matters having legal effects or consequences.