Consultation outcome

Rail and maritime Red Tape Challenge

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Maritime theme outcome announcement

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Detail of outcome

Original consultation


The Red Tape Challenge initiative to simplfy and reduce uneccessary regulation and bureaucracy reaches the maritime and rail sectors.

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Consultation description

The maritime and rail transportation systems are a key part of the UK’s transport network. Effective regulation is required to allow maritime and rail transport to operate to their full potential.

This Red Tape Challenge theme will look at over 400 regulations in the maritime and rail sector, and covers a broad range of rules - from those concerning fares and licensing in the rail industry, through to those aimed at protecting the marine environment.

See what the sector champions are saying about the Red Tape Challenge.


The Maritime Red Tape Challenge includes over 200 international and domestic regulations relating to the maritime sector to ensure that the UK’s shipping, ports and waterways are operated in an efficient, safe, secure and sustainable manner.

Maritime outcome

In November 2011, the Department for Transport launched the Maritime theme of the government’s Red Tape Challenge programme to reduce burdens for industry and taxpayers. Following a rigorous process of challenge, stakeholder engagement and public consultation, the results were announced today in the Budget - 63% of the regulations in scope have been identified to be scrapped or improved.


Earlier this year, 198 secondary regulations relating to our railways were put forward for discussion.

Rail outcome

Following a rigorous process of challenge within Whitehall, and following suggestions from the public, business and other stakeholders, the department is proposing to scrap, simplify, amend and improve over forty per cent of these. Amongst the measures being pursued are:

  • streamlining the process for amending penalty fares
  • harmonising and simplifying the process for obtaining an operating licence
  • holding a review of the railway closure process
  • reducing regulatory burdens and costs on historic cableways
  • merging a number of regulations to make them easier to understand
  • removing a significant number of lapsed or redundant regulations

Background Information

Next steps

The department will now seek to implement the proposed actions as soon as possible. Many will require further development and consultation and we will come forward with specific proposals in due course.

Red Tape Challenge

Published 10 November 2011
Last updated 20 March 2013 + show all updates
  1. Maritime theme outcome announcement added.
  2. First published.