Real Time Train Information code of practice market study
We have commenced a review of the Association of Train Operating Companies' (ATOC) Code of Practice for the supply of Real Time Train Information.
ATOC introduced its Code of Practice (the Code) through its subsidiary National Rail Enquiries (NRE) in April 2010 following ORR's Competition Act investigation into its supply of RTTI products. Although the investigation found that ATOC had not infringed the Act, it noted that ATOC had total control over this important input and a special responsibility not to allow its conduct to distort the market. The overarching purpose of the Code was to:
- introduce transparency into an area where there is significant market power in the hands of one party and, therefore, a responsibility on that party to demonstrate that it has processes in place not to abuse that position; and
- set out a behavioural framework against which all future conduct can be assessed.
NRE's Code was published on 23 April 2010 and we considered it an important first step in improving transparency around access to real time train information data.
Whilst the Code was being drafted a number of parties expressed concerns to us about whether the Code went far enough and how it would work in practice. NRE agreed to keep the Code under review in the light of experience and we undertook to seek views on how the Code had worked after it had been in operation for a year.
We are now inviting views from all parties who have recent experience of, or an interest in, accessing or seeking access to RTTI products supplied by ATOC/National Rail Enquiries. In particular we would be interested to hear views on:
- the criteria and process for gaining access;
- the terms on which access is provided (including contractual conditions);
- the Code's appeals procedure;
- how the Code contributes to the development of a competitive market for the provision RTTI dependent of products.
There are a range of possible outcomes from the review including that we reach a view that the Code is fully effective in fulfilling its objectives. We will also seek views on whether there are any steps that third parties think that we should take to facilitate access to data which is essential to the development of new services and products for consumers.