Office of Rail and Road Update – September 2017
21 September 2017
Welcome to ORR's September Newsletter.
Whilst August is traditionally a quiet time for many industries, for transport infrastructure it’s a busy period. The strategic road network faces pressure from the traditional bank holiday getaways, and on the Railways the drop in commuting levels is an opportunity to undertake major improvements works, such as the significant scheme at Waterloo.
For ORR's own part August has seen further work to deliver our Periodic Review of Network Rail, including engagement with governments to define what they want the network to deliver over the next five years and the funds available to do so. We have also continued to promote safety and customer service on the network, as detailed below.
Chief Executive, Office of Rail and Road
A more efficient railway
Following our annual monitor report of Network Rail's performance, ORR is continuing its work with Network Rail, governments and the wider industry to improve the efficiency of Network Rail. ORR's Director of Railway Markets and Economics John Larkinson explains why the volume of renewals work and its cost is one of the biggest priorities for the Railway, and Emily Bulman, ORR's Head of Regulatory Frameworks, writes how Network Rail can benefit from getting closer to stakeholders in each individual Network Rail route.
Delivering for consumers
Every year, ORR publishes a report setting out our view on how the industry has met its obligations to passengers on key areas, such as complaints handling and compensation. Our consumer lead, Stephanie Tobyn explains where the industry has done well this year, and where it needs to up its game. To accompany this year's report, we have also set out some case studies of good and bad practice in customer service across the network.
Safety at the centre
Safety remains the top priority for ORR. Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways has set how he feels the industry is putting health and safety at the heart of its operations, supporting ORR's vision of zero industry-caused fatalities. Justin McCracken, Chair of ORR's Health and Safety Committee meanwhile sets out the dangers in taking current levels of safety for granted.
As well as monitoring Highways England's performance in delivering their programme of investment in England's motorways and major A-Roads, ORR is also working with Highways England and the UK Government to shape the next Road Investment Strategy from 2020. Our Director of Highways, Peter Antolik, has written on our role in contributing to the development of RIS2 in developing RIS2 and the importance of involving the supply chain in the process.