Memorandum by the Rail Regulator (IT 185)
1. The Network Management Statement published
today sets out Railtrack's proposals for an investment programme
meeting the needs of its customers, and Railtrack's assessment
of the costs of that programme.
2. The Shadow Strategic Rail Authority will
now be carrying our a consultation on the type and level of services
the network should provide. The SSRA's advice on the outputs to
be sought from Railtrack's investment programme will be set out
in an Assessment delivered to Government.
3. I will be consulting train operators and
Passenger Transport Executives to ensure that the statement contains
adequate plans to meet their reasonable requirements. Meanwhile
I will shortly be appointing consultants to review Railtrack's
costings and assumptions about the scope for future efficiency.
4. Thus, in essence it will be up to the SSRA
to decide what outputs it wants to see from Railtrack's programme
(and pay for in access charges), and to the Regulator to decide
the price as part of the Periodic Review settlement.
5. As outlined in the document I published last
December, the outcome of this process will be set out in the 2000
Network Management Statement. This will then be a record of the
reasonable requirements of the SSRA. As such, they will be capable
of being enforced by the Regulator under Condition 7 of Railtrack's
6. You also ask what action the Office has taken
against Railtrack over its investment record. Last year we sought,
and obtained, commitments from Railtrack under Condition 7 of
the Network Licence covering:
studies of bottlenecks on the network;
processes for meeting reasonable
requirements of train operators and customers;
West Coast Main Line capacity.
I will be studying the Network Management Statement
to ensure these have been met. Neither my predecessor nor I has
levied any fines in respect of Railtrack's investment record.
25 March 1999