The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has set out plans to assess the amount Network Rail can charge for access to its lines at a route level in future as part of moves to drive savings,
From 2019 Network Rail will be asked to produce business plans for every route it operates, so that the regulator can assess its efficiency on a route-by-route basis. It will use this to set financially separate price controls on Network Rail at the route-level.
The ORR has said it will do what it can to move towards this in the next CP5 control period starting in 2014 by issuing binding separate final determinations for Scotland and England & Wales. In line with this, it will consider whether there are different costs of capital for Scotland and England & Wales.
The plan builds on Network Rail’s devolution, and provide strong building blocks for further future changes in the funding of the railways beyond 2019, where ORR expects to implement, for example, regional rail funding reviews.