Impact of ROGS

This page summarises findings from reviews and independent research on the impact of Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 (ROGS) on the rail industry.

In 2016 ORR carried out a post implementation review (PIR) on behalf of the Secretary of State to establish whether ROGS have achieved their original objectives and to assess their effectiveness, following a period of time after implementation. The PIR considered ROGS as they were originally made in 2006, as well as following significant anendments made in 2011 and 2013.

ORR had commissioned Noble Denton Associates to carry out a baseline survey in 2007 on the performance and impact of ROGS as part of a three-year monitoring and evaluation exercise. Further surveys were carried out in 2008 and early in 2009. The final survey was undertaken at the end of 2009.

The report of the final survey (published in 2010) concluded that the majority of objectives of ROGS had either been met or were on their way to being met. We were therefore confident that the legislation was helping to maintain national standards of rail safety in line with EU requirements and that we were striving for continuous improvement.

To avoid duplication of effort, many of the requirements of 2016 PIR were delivered through the findings of the 2010 Report. These were supplemented by a light touch approach that assessed whether the conclusions of the 2010 Report were still accurate and also evaluated the impacts of subsequent amendments to ROGS in 2011 and 2013.

To supplement the 2010 evaluation, ORR collected further evidence for the PIR by:

  • consulting stakeholders and asking them to complete a survey (“the 2015 Survey”);
  • researching ORR data sources (its Corporate Information Database and an internal staff survey);
  • contacting other national safety authorities by e-mail; and
  • researching published data.

Are ROGS working well?

The PIR found that ROGS are working well. The 2015 Survey indicated that 71% of respondents agreed with the statement “I think ROGS are working well”. Those that neither agreed nor disagreed (22%) still made some positive comments.

Are there any unintended effects?

The PIR found that, overall, ROGS has not generated any unintended effects. Most respondents (53%) indicated that there had been no unintended effects for their businesses. A  minority (about 10%) thought that there had been unintended effects. These were mainly businesses which operated services below 40km/h and light railways. Some said that complying with ROGS had increased their costs and generated more paperwork. However, it should be noted that the impact assessment accompanying the 2006 Regulations envisaged that there would be a minor increase in costs for many of these operators so, while this point is important, this impact had been anticipated and is therefore not considered to be ‘unintended’. Around 36% of respondents were not sure whether there had been any unintended effects.

Are there any negative impacts?

The PIR found that, overall, there appear to be no significant negative impacts following the introduction of ROGS. The 2015 Survey indicated that 70% of respondents thought that ROGS have had a positive impact. Comments indicated that they provide a framework for duty holders to manage their own risks and work with each other on common areas to continuously improve through shared knowledge and experience and that they have raised standards in safety management and record keeping among duty holders. Around 9% were not sure if there had been any negative impacts and 21% thought that ROGS have had a neutral impact.

Conclusions and next steps for ROGS

The overall conclusion from the PIR is that ROGS are working well and the objectives have largely been met with no unintended effects. The Secretary of State accepted ORR’s recommendations arising from the PIR that ROGS should remain in place with some minor regulatory changes to improve clarity. Subject to further consultation, the following regulatory changes will be incorporated into ROGS at the next available opportunity:

  • clarify that the term “mainline railway” represents the management and operation of the mainline railway
  • replace the term “placed in service” (and cognate expressions) with “put in use” to align with the Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011 [S.I. 2011/3066]
  • modernise requirements in regulation 21 of ROGS relating to making documents available to the public so that they can be made available electronically
  • make the Common Safety Method for Risk Evaluation and Assessment (Commission Regulation (EU) 4012/2013) voluntary for non-mainline operators as an alternative to carrying out safety verification (this follows the removal of safety verification for mainline operators in 2013 because this Common Safety Method applies in a similar way).

Market study

ORR also carried out a research market study to:

  • assess whether the requirement to obtain safety authorisation or certification could be a barrier to entry into Great Britain's market(s) for the provision of mainline passenger and freight transport following the implementation of ROGS
  • recommend any steps we could take to reduce any safety barriers that may exist, including, for example, amending our own approach, improving access to information about how to obtain authorisation or certification or other actions.

Our findings support the conclusion that ROGS implementation in GB has been successful in speeding up accreditation and streamlining requirements across member states while maintaining and improving health and safety standards. We found no evidence to suggest that obtaining new certification and/or authorisation is a barrier to entry, but on the contrary we found that ROGS appears to improve the conditions of entry, consistent with the aims of facilitating an open market for rail transport.

Further information