ORR enforcement action prompts Network Rail Performance Action Plan

3 April 2019

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today approved the action Network Rail must take to improve train performance for passengers and freight users both immediately and in the longer term.

ORR took enforcement action against Network Rail in November, requiring improvements in its capability to deliver better railway performance. In a detailed response, Network Rail describes a number of new actions it will take to identify and address the underlying issues impacting on train performance that has led to a prolonged deterioration in punctuality and reliability.

In its role on leading performance planning and management on behalf of the rail industry, Network Rail has set out that it will work in collaboration with train operators to deliver a better service for passengers by:

  • Establishing a new performance management system that will give it a clearer understanding of the factors causing delays,
  • Improving its response to incidents and in the time taken to recover a normal service after disruption,
  • Increasing its operational capability through additional staff training and recruitment.

ORR will closely monitor Network Rail’s planned improvements, with a particular focus on route specific actions.

Graham Richards, Director Planning and Performance at ORR said: "There must be no let-up in the drive to improve performance and we will be making sure Network Rail delivers on its promised steps aimed at improving performance for passengers and freight customers.

"We are pleased to see that Network Rail has reacted positively to our enforcement action and has a thorough plan to identify and tackle the root causes of the deterioration of punctuality.”

Notes to editors

1. ORR’s Provisional Order (28 November 2018) in respect of Network Rail’s performance management capability
2. Network Rail’s Action Plan in response to Provisional Order (15 February 2019)
3. ORR letter to Network Rail (3 April 2019)