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SRA and Rail Regulator seal relationship in writing


THE STRATEGIC Rail Authority (SRA) and the Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR) this week jointly published a document clarifying their relationship.

The concordat sets out separate and common objectives and states that, while the SRA is subject to government guidance, the Regulator is independent.

The SRA's role is to secure the development of the railways and promote its use, it says. The ORR acts as an impartial referee, responsible for setting the contractual and financial framework within which infrastructure operator Railtrack has to work.

The document also reveals a new level of co-operation between the two organisations, which is put down to the improved relationship between the Rail Regulator Tom Winsor and the SRA chairman Richard Bowker since he took over in December.

Closer working will see 'sharing of information' to 'facilitate the early transfer of Railtrack out of administration' and develop a 'single, clear business planning framework for Britain's railways', says the document.

In the immediate aftermath of Railtrack's collapse, transport secretary Stephen Byers wanted to merge the two offices, but later backed down following industry pressure.

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