Consumer policy

What we do for passengers

ORR's most important job is to improve the service which rail passengers receive and to ensure that the rail network operates safely. It does this by regulating the company which runs the rail infrastructure, Network Rail, to deliver better punctuality and reliability, ensuring that more trains run on time and fewer services are cancelled. It also enforces health and safety law and presses the rail industry for continual improvement in its safety performance for passengers and rail workers alike.

It is also our job to improve the information which passengers receive to plan their journey, to ensure that they get a fair deal when buying tickets (although we don't set the price of fares, which is done by the government).


The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has published guidance on consumer protection under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002. It has also produced a guide on the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which implements the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

ORR's approach to enforcing general consumer law in services relating to railways pdf icon PDF, 125 Kb, sets out the approach we will take in exercising our consumer law enforcement role. This document is mainly aimed at those providing services to consumers in relation to the railways, such as train operating companies and third party retailers of train tickets but it should also be useful for rail passengers and those who represent them.

Related information

Code of practice on retail information

Information about our work on the industry retail information code of practice.
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Complaints handling

Find out more information about who you should complain to relating to your experience when buying a ticket or travelling by rail.
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Consumer law enforcement

Consumer law aims to ensure that businesses are fair and open in their dealings with consumers.
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Disabled people's protection policy

Train and station operators are required by their operating licences to establish and comply with a disabled people's protection policy (DPPP) which must be approved by us.
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Passengers with disabilities

All licensed train and station operators are required to establish and comply with a Disabled People's Protection Policy (DPPP) which sets out how they will protect the interests of disabled users of their trains and stations.
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Service disruption

Information about who to contact in case of disruption to your train service due to adverse weather or engineering works.
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Retail market review consultations

ORR's retail market review considers how regulation and industry practices and arrangements for ticket selling are facilitating choice and promoting investment and innovation in the best interests of passengers.
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Further information