In July 2015 Nicola Shaw, the Chief Executive of HS1, was asked to provide options for the future
shape and financing of Network Rail in order to support growth and investment. Her report, published this week, confirms that the rail network should be held as a national asset and a key public service. It builds on good progress already being made by Network Rail and focusses on steps to improve performance for passengers and freight users. I welcome the report’s
The Shaw report proposes strengthening the role of Network Rail route managers to increase
accountability and efficiency. It also recommends a new northern route, and a new freight
route to ensure the rail freight industry can continue to contribute to growth.
My recent consultation on the role of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) showed clear support for
strong independent regulation to put customer needs at the heart of rail. To support the ORR, I
will work with it to implement changes to bring greater clarity to its statutory duties and to
enhance its working relationship with Transport Focus. I will also update the statutory guidance I
The recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into competition in passenger
rail services recommended open access operators could benefit passengers if important reforms
are made. These reforms include fairer charges and robust protections for taxpayers and
investment. While charges are for the ORR, I hope that changes to charges can be made as soon
as possible. I will now explore options for potentially implementing the CMA’s recommendations,
including legislation if required.
I will make a fuller response to the Shaw report later this year. I am placing a copy of the Shaw
report in the Library of the House.