Thursday 24 Jul 2003


Region & Route:
The Office of the Rail Regulator today published its Third Consultation Paper in the ongoing Interim Review of Track Access Charges.  The Regulator states that the “emerging conclusions… should be seen as work in progress”. This is the first stage of the Interim Review process. The process is not due to conclude until December when the Regulator is scheduled to announce his final decisions, and Network Rail will continue to work in cooperation with the Regulator over the coming months with independent consultants examining the scope for efficiency savings. The Chairman, Ian McAllister, said “We fully agree with the Regulator over the need to deliver better efficiency from our business as we have stated many times. Since the publication of our Business Plan in March (upon which this ORR paper is based) we have announced plans to deliver annual efficiencies of 20% by 2006/07, with a further 10% over the following three years.  “We will continue to work with the Office of the Rail Regulator to identify the speed at which these efficiency savings can be achieved.  “In addition, the Regulator has suggested that the deferral of renewals work can deliver further reduction in costs for Network Rail. This is certainly a proposal that merits further detailed consideration and we will engage with the ORR to consider the issue of the volume of work needed in the next few years to modernise Britain’s rail network.” - more - ORR - 2 Mr McAllister continued: “ The work of the consultants, which the ORR has also published today, will help inform this process.  We look forward to a successful conclusion of the interim review in December 2003.”

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