Greater transparency from industry will support a better railway

10 December 2012

Greater transparency in the rail industry will support better customer satisfaction with rail services, improved value for money and greater public trust, said Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) Chair, Anna Walker, at the Rail Transparency Conference in London today.

The conference, hosted by ORR, brings together passenger groups, train and freight operators, governments, Network Rail, and technology developers, to discuss how the railways can work together to achieve the benefits that transparency can bring to passengers, taxpayers, business and the industry itself.

Highlighting the great strides the industry has taken over the past year in driving improved transparency, Anna Walker said:

ORR believes that greater transparency in the rail industry can deliver great benefits for passengers, taxpayers, business, and the rail industry itself.
We want to see rail passengers benefitting from live performance data, taxpayers with the scope to understand where public money in the railways goes and how it is used, and business viewing the railways as an opportunity for investment, growth and innovation.
Transparency can also help to build confidence and trust in the railways. This matters because increased confidence can help drive better behaviours across the whole sector to deliver improved value for money and greater focus on customers. And it matters because lack of trust breeds suspicion that passengers are being 'ripped off' and taxpayers are not getting value from the railways.
Customers expect to see more and better information on mobile devices. In some parts of the transport sector we have seen great innovation as businesses have made data available to third-party developers. Others have lagged behind, limiting innovation and depriving their customers of choice.
The rail industry has taken huge strides in opening up over the past year. It is publishing more safety, performance and financial data than ever before. Our challenge to the railways now is to go even further to sustain this progress and to open up new opportunities for customers and businesses.

Read Anna Walker's speech pdf icon PDF, 62 Kb in full.

Notes to editors

  1. The Office of Rail Regulation is the independent safety and economic regulator for Great Britain's railways.
  2. Additional speakers at ORR's Rail Transparency Conference include:
    • Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Department of Transport
    • Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Passenger Focus
    • Peter Miller - Chief Executive Officer, ITO World Ltd