Railway Safety Regulations 1997

Explains the application of the Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1997.

The Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1997 replaced a large number of old provisions, dating back as far as 1839. They created   five new goal-setting duties to:

  • prevent unauthorised access to the railway infrastructure (for example by means of lineside fencing);
  • provide means of passenger communication with staff on trains;
  • prevent collisions and derailments (for example by means of adequate signalling systems);
  • provide adequate braking systems; and
  • prevent accidents to staff (for example trackside workers) from moving vehicles.

Review of the Regulations

We reviewed the Misc Prov 97 regulations in 2008. The key findings of the review were that majority of the organisations did not have to take new measures to comply with the duties in the regulations, as these regulations combined existing legislation. However consultees were split as to whether the regulations should be removed. Without a clear case to support any immediate changes outcomes were focussed upon having identified areas for future improvement.

In 2012 we started a review of the regulations under the Red Tape Challenge. We are reviewing these regulations along with the Railway Safety Regulations 1999 and the Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2001. Our work on this is underway and consultation on proposals for revision is planned for Winter 2014.

The RTC is a cross-Whitehall programme, and is led by a small central team across Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to review all regulations in force across a range of industry sectors. The starting point of the RTC is that 'a regulation should go or its aim be achieved in a different, non-government way, unless there is a clear and good justification for government being involved. And even where there is a good case for this, we must sweep away unnecessary bureaucracy and complexity, end gold-plating of EU directives, and challenge overzealous administration and enforcement.' Review of regulations concerning the rail industry was carried out in 2011 and a public consultation on initial findings was completed in November 2011.