Revising railway safety regulations: Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1997, Railway Safety Regulations 1999 and Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2001

Date published: 8 July 2014
Closing date: 17:00 on 2 September 2014

In 2014, as part of the Government's 'Red Tape Challenge' to reduce unnecessary secondary legislation, we consulted on our proposals to revoke the Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1997, Railway Safety Regulations 1999 and Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2001 (together ‘the current Regulations’) and replace them with a new set of regulations.

The decision to leave the European Union following the referendum in 2016 has resulted in the Government assessing the allocation of parliamentary time  for legislation, due to the increase in Brexit related work over the coming years. As a result, the replacement draft Railway Safety (Train Operations etc… ) Regulations will not be laid before Parliament for the foreseeable future.

Nonetheless, we believe that much of the work already completed is relevant for updating the existing guidance on the current Regulations which is around 20 years old.

The ORR plans to undertake this work during 2018 and in the meantime the duties and prohibitions contained within current Regulations remain in force.

Original consultation proposals and responses

These proposed regulations would:

  • keep the prohibition on the operation of trains without having a train protection system for that train and railway;
  • introduce a new requirement to have a management system for the train protection system to ensure safe performance;
  • retain the prohibition on the operation of Mark 1 rolling stock unless certain modifications have been made to improve crashworthiness;
  • retain the obligation to provide a means of communication with the train driver or conductor for use by passengers in an emergency; and
  • remove duties or prohibitions that are covered by other more recent regulations, superseded or are out of date.

We also consulted on our proposal to introduce flexibility to the current arrangements for the allocation of health and safety functions for railways.

Consultation document

We have considered the issues raised by consultees and produced a summary of our views on those  issues. This table is available below.

We sent the final draft of the regulations and impact assessment  to the Department for Transport in June 2015 which will enable the regulations to be laid before Parliament. The regulations and impact assessment will now go through the Department's clearance processes and the effective date for the new regulations is expected to be in 2016. In the meantime we are preparing draft guidance to the regulations.