Problems and Progress
Edited by Colin Robinson
Chapter 6: Developing the framework of rail regulation
Chris Bolt INTRODUCTION AND OUTLINE In November 2003, I gave a Beesley lecture on the topic of ‘Regulating London Underground’ (Bolt, 2005), in my role as statutory Arbiter for the London Underground Public–Private Partnership Agreements. Little did I expect then to be invited to speak again so quickly, or to do so in the joint capacity of PPP Arbiter and also, from 5 July 2004, Chairman of the Oﬃce of Rail Regulation (ORR), the body which took over on that date the functions and duties of the Rail Regulator. Much has happened since then. Eleven days after my appointment as ORR Chairman was announced, the Secretary of State for Transport, Alistair Darling, announced a Rail Review. The resulting White Paper (DfT, 2004) was published in July 2004, 10 days after the creation of the Oﬃce of Rail Regulation. There has now been legislation, in the form of the Railways Act 2005, to provide the basis for implementing those changes which required legislation. Previously, I compared the structure and ‘regulation’ of London Underground, through the PPP Agreements, with that of the national rail network. I concluded: [A]lthough there are clearly many issues with the PPP which cannot be assessed at this early stage in the life of the agreements, I suggest there are two main features which tend to favour the PPP arrangements: ● ● the smaller number of direct contractual relationships, and in particular the responsibility of Infracos for both track and signalling and rolling stock maintenance and...
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