Office of Rail and Road Update - April 2017

21 April 2017

Our newly-published Business Plan sets out our priorities for the next year. We have listened to feedback and contributions from the industry, consumer representative groups and from Network Rail and Highways England, and this is reflected in our priorities and programme of work for 2017.

Joanna WhittingtonOur Business Plan responds, in particular, to the current concerns of rail users. Over the next year we will ensure the views and priorities of consumers are understood and taken on board by those running the rail network.

User focus is a common theme across regulated sectors, which is why we have contributed to a document setting out how UK regulators are placing consumer needs at the centre of their work. The UK Regulators’ Network publication explains more.

Joanna Whittington
Chief Executive

Top stories

Our business plan for 2017-18 ORR Business Plan front cover

We’ve set out our work to protect the interests of rail and road users over the next year. Our Business Plan for 2017-18 is built on six strategic objectives. As well as the focus on users, it explains how we will continue our longer-term work carrying out the Periodic Review of Network Rail and contributing to the next Road Investment Strategy, while still regularly monitoring and reporting on the performance and efficiency of Network Rail and Highways England. Our next major reports on both companies’ performance are due in the summer.

ORR publishes safety principles for driver controlled operation

ORR has published safety principles for train companies to follow when rolling out and managing Driver Controlled Operation (DCO). The six high level principles have been drawn up in consultation with industry and discussed with key trade unions. As well as ensuring trains and platforms are compatible, and that appropriate training for staff is in place, operators need to consider timescales to implement new arrangements and to have regular dialogue with staff and their representatives.

Understanding Road Users’ Needs Motorway in England

Research conducted by ORR and Transport Focus has looked at what really matters to road users, and what they see as key measures for success. Our Roads Director, Peter Antolik blogs on the key findings of the study, and how ORR will use the information in our work monitoring Highways England and in contributing to development of the Performance Specification of the next Road Investment Strategy from 2020.