Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

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 Network Licence.

  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:

    —  performance targets;

    —  track quality targets;

    —  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.

Chris Bolt

25 March 1999

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