The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) have responded to James Brokenshire’s complaint about Network Rail’s reliability on the Southeastern network, pledging to undertake detailed analysis and enforcement action should it be found that Network Rail have breached the terms of its licence.
The Office of Rail and Road is the regulator for Britain’s railways, assessing Network Rail’s performance against key targets and performance indicators and taking appropriate regulatory action, including issuing fines, when Network Rail fails to meet them.
In her letter, a copy of which can be found below, Joanna Whittington, Chief Executive of the ORR, says that Network Rail is likely to have missed its targets on reliability and that the ORR will therefore seek to analyse further reliability data before deciding whether enforcement action is appropriate.
The response also underlines that the performance of Southeastern and other train operating companies, who are responsible for the rolling stock and drivers, has fallen over the most recent assessment period.
Commenting upon receipt of the letter, James said:
“Performance on our local rail network continues to be below the expectations of passengers. A large part of this is down to the delays caused by Network Rail, either due to infrastructure failures of overrunning engineering works. That is why it is important that the ORR takes a proper look at this and decides how it can intervene to see that Network Rail up their performance. The response also indicates a decline in Southeastern’s performance and I have therefore written to Southeastern’s Managing Director to challenge them on the need to improve reliability to their customers.”
“More widely, I continue to impress on the Department for Transport the need for more rolling stock on the Southeastern network to ease crowding at peak time. I hope that the Minister will be able to approve the necessary investment decisions to bring this about.”
The ORR's full response can be found below