Known as the 2023 Periodic Review (PR23), the process sets a five-year settlement that will determine the level of funding Network Rail/Great British Railways should receive for its operation, maintenance and renewals activities.
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Office of Rail and Road (ORR)
The UK’s Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is a non-ministerial government department responsible for the economic and safety regulation of Britain’s railways, and the economic monitoring of Highways England.
ORR's new guidance does not specify requirements or solutions, allowing for a proportionate, case-by-case approach to be made for each level crossing in the UK.
Following the disruption caused by the discovery of cracks on Hitachi Class 800 and 385 series trains in May 2021, ORR is set to undertake a review of the impact of the incident on safety and passengers.
Statistics from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) have revealed that the unprecedented fall in usage can be attributed entirely to the impact of the pandemic.
The UK government has announced the formation of a new public body, Great British Railways, which will bring the UK's railways under single, accountable national leadership.
With oversight from the UK's Office of Rail and Road, Hitachi Rail, train operators and the government have agreed a service recovery plan to safely reintroduce more Class 800 Series and 385 Series trainsets into passenger service after cracks were found on some trains.
ORR has raised its concerns regarding the two main players in the UK's railway signalling market, stating that competition needs to be improved for alternative companies.
The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has published revised standards on fire safety and evacuation. Neil Dinmore, Principal Engineer of Structures and Materials at RSSB, considers the history behind the present.
All 24 train and station operators across the UK have committed to having their passenger-facing staff undertake disability awareness and equality training.
ORR's statistics show that the punctuality of all 23 UK operators improved in Q3 of 2020-2021 when compared to 2019-2020, but a total of 11 per cent fewer trains were scheduled.
Measures within Southeastern's new travel policy include the setting up of a Passenger Accessibility Panel and the creation of a new bespoke disability awareness training programme.
ORR's draft guidance proposals aim to give the industry greater confidence in putting forward innovative designs to reduce risks and increase safety at level crossings.
ORR has praised Network Rail for its performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has outlined that efforts need to improve in the North West.
Transport Focus has outlined that improved reliability and a simpler delay repay claims process can help increase confidence in the railway.