Volume incentive

Reference: ORR/014/2012
Date published: 18 December 2012
Start date: 18 December 2012
Closing date: 5 February 2013

This consultation set out our package of proposals to improve the effectiveness of the volume incentive.

These proposals relate to its design and payment rates. 

The volume incentive is a payment to Network Rail which encourages it to be more responsive to unexpected demand for use of network capacity over and above an agreed level.

The volume incentive is important because it acts as a counterbalance to the service reliability and punctuality targets which Network Rail faces which might lead it to limit provision of network capacity to improve its chance of meeting them. 

It places a value on the additional use of network capacity and so encourages Network Rail to consider the trade-off when deciding whether to meet unexpected demand from its customers. 

It should help to improve the quality of information which is available on network capacity.

In this consultation, we sought views on our proposals to improve the effectiveness of the incentive. 

These proposals form a package of design changes including disaggregation of the incentive to a route level, the introduction of a downside and increases in the incentive rates.

Over the next few years we want to work with the industry to look at the structure of Network Rail's charges to identify the scope for charges to send better signals for efficient capacity management, and to facilitate more efficient cost recovery. 

This consultation also asked a number of questions on this proposed longer-term package of work.

Consultation document