Competition work on open access

ORR publishes update on its competition work on open access

27 March 2019

Open access operators play an important role in promoting competition on the railway. The dynamic created by on-rail competition delivers demonstrable benefits to passengers; provides comparators to inform franchising decisions; and better holds Network Rail to account in its role of identifying and allocating capacity.

As such, ORR supports more ‘on-rail’ competition, where this is in accordance with our statutory duties.

In December 2018, we launched a piece of work to develop a framework for monitoring the impact of, and response to, open access competition.  We set out to do this to ensure that the right conditions are created for competition to be fostered, through the presence of open access operators.

Since launching this work, we have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including train operators, Network Rail, and other UK competition regulators. The evidence and feedback we gathered has informed the design of our monitoring framework, and our update document, published today, sets out what metrics we intend to monitor on an ongoing basis, and how.

We intend to commence our monitoring activities later in 2019 and will continue to keep our monitoring framework under review to ensure it remains as useful and robust as possible.

We welcome comments and ideas from interested parties on the monitoring framework set out in this document. Please send any comments to: beth.tasker@orr.gov.uk by 22 May 2019.

Open access update document

Open access monitoring – Update on ORR’s plans to monitor the impact of, and response to, open access pdf icon PDF, 315 Kb
27 March 2019

ORR launches competition work on open access

3 December 2018

ORR supports more ‘on-rail’ competition where it delivers sustainable benefits to passengers. The dynamic created by on-rail competition delivers demonstrable benefits to passengers; provides comparators to inform franchising decisions; and better holds Network Rail to account in its role of identifying and allocating capacity.

We have launched a piece of work which will deliver a framework for monitoring the impact of, and response to, open access competition.  Doing so will help us to better understand the challenges that OAOs face in trying to establish themselves in the GB market, and enable us to spot any problems early.

We will also produce information for industry participants on what, in the context of open access, ORR considers in broad terms to constitute anti-competitive behaviour, as opposed to a competitive response. This will increase transparency for industry on what we expect of them, and inform how we use our competition enforcement powers.

We will be engaging with a range of stakeholders over the coming months but if you would like to get in touch before then please send your comments to competition@orr.gov.uk.

Open access launch document