ORR launch consultation on proposals for the Rail Ombudsman

The Office of Rail and Road will take over responsibility from the Rail Delivery Group for sponsoring the Rail Ombudsman

Passengers looking at a timetable

Credit: ORR

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has launched a consultation on proposals for an operating model for the future Rail Ombudsman. The current consumer redress and dispute resolution scheme was established in November 2018 by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) on behalf of train companies.

ORR will take over responsibility from RDG for sponsoring the Rail Ombudsman, as proposed in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, reinforcing the scheme’s independence.

An independent review of the Rail Ombudsman was published by ORR in July 2020. The review concluded that it was broadly working well, but improvements could be made to aspects such as governance, which included a recommendation that ORR should take on the role as the Ombudsman’s sponsor from RDG.

The consultation contains proposals for an operating model for the future Rail Ombudsman, which specifies the functions it will perform and to what standard, as well as the way it will be constituted, governed, and held to account; and proposed licence modifications required as part of the ORR sponsorship process.

The feedback ORR receives will inform the specification for a competitive tender process later in 2022. This will identify a not-for-profit provider of the new model Rail Ombudsman. An announcement of the winner of this competition is expected in early 2023.

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