Network Rail's strategic business plan

The strategic business plan - Office of Rail Regulation

Information relating to Network Rail's strategic business plan (SBP) for 2014-19.

On 8 January 2013, Network Rail published its strategic business plan (SBP) and supporting documentation, which is the company's main submission to us for PR13. The SBP sets out how Network Rail proposes to deliver the outputs sought by the Scottish Ministers and the Secretary of State in their high-level output specifications (HLOSs) published in June and July 2012 respectively, and how much Network Rail considers this would cost.

The SBP is a critical document for PR13, which we will be reviewing thoroughly ahead of producing our PR13 draft determination in June 2013. This will set out our proposed conclusions on what Network Rail must deliver in the period 2014-19 and how much funding it should receive.

Whilst not a formal consultation, we sought stakeholders views pdf icon PDF, 184 Kb on the SBP to help inform our analysis. We also held a stakeholder workshop at which Network Rail presented its SBP and we chaired a discussion.

Workshop slides and note

Main themes arising from the comments on the SBP

We received over 170 submissions and comments on the SBP. We are grateful to those who responded. We have published the non-confidential responses we received from organisations below. We also received a significant number of responses from individuals and MPs. Whilst we have considered these, we have not published them below. Given the breadth of some of the responses and specific suggestions made, we have also made all non-confidential responses available to Network Rail.

Whilst we are not going to comment on the individual responses provided to us, we note some key themes that arose from them:

  • Enhancements: Understandably, a large number of stakeholders supported improvements to the railway – particularly those that would improve journey experience and boost the economy in their local area. This included both those schemes proposed in the SBP and other improvements and projects that had not been included. There was widespread support for electrification and suggestions of other routes where electrification would be beneficial.
  • Performance: stakeholders wanted better and more consistent performance from the railway, across all routes and services. There were concerns that Network Rail had not been ambitious enough in looking to deliver improvements on some routes.
  • Network availability: The need for a more joined up approach to planned engineering work was emphasised, which minimises disruption to passengers and freight services and keeps the railway open for more of the time.
  • Funds: There was substantial support for the various 'funding pots' – such as for small scale improvements to stations and services, and demands for transparent governance arrangements to be put in place for the allocation of these.
  • Provision of depot facilities: many stakeholders were concerned that insufficient consideration has been given to the need for depot facilities to support the larger train fleets required to deliver the increase in capacity required in CP5.

We are currently in the process of producing our draft determination. We will then publish this on 12 June 2013, and seek stakeholders' views on this. Following this, we review stakeholders' views before publishing our final determination on 31 October 2013.

Responses from stakeholder organisations on the SBP