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Rail regulator may disappear in new set up

News :

A SHAKE up of the regulatory regime that many blame for strangling the rail sector will mean the end for the Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR).

It is likely the ORR will merge with the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA). Regulation will be less intensive because the government wants Railtrack to be run by a company limited by guarantee.

As such it will be committed to ploughing profits back into rail investment instead of producing returns for shareholders.

In a statement on the Railtrack collapse, Transport Secretary Stephen Byers said that the present regulatory structure would be rationalised to 'reduce the burdens of day to day interference in the industry and a self defeating system of penalties and compensation.'

Last week's moves came as a complete shock to both SRA chairman Sir Alastair Morton and Tom Winsor in what were purely government plans to make Railtrack collapse.

But city analysts predicted that a regulator will still be needed.

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