Utility Regulation in Competitive Markets
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Utility Regulation in Competitive Markets

Problems and Progress

Edited by Colin Robinson

This significant new volume contains incisive chapters on a number of prominent concerns, including changes in the British system of utility regulation, the spectrum allocation question, liberalisation of EU energy markets, security of supply issues, reform in the European postal sector, the future of rail regulation, the cost of capital and Ofcom’s strategic approach to regulation. Chapters on each topic are followed by comments from regulators, competition authority chairmen and other experts in the relevant fields. By confronting the most important international developments in utility regulation, the authors offer practical policy recommendations for an effective way forward.
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Chapter 6: Developing the framework of rail regulation

Chris Bolt


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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