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November 2, 2023

Office of Rail and Road Approves £43.1 Billion Plan to Deliver a Safe and Customer-Focused Railway

Office of Rail and Road Approves £43.1 Billion Plan to Deliver a Safe and Customer-Focused Railway


The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has recently issued its final determination regarding Network Rail's ambitious £43.1 billion plans to enhance safety and customer satisfaction across the railway network. This significant decision, covering Control Period 7 (CP7) from April 1, 2024, marks a crucial step towards the improvement and sustainability of the rail infrastructure in the UK.

Revised Plans and Positive Responses

Following the ORR's draft determination in June, Network Rail demonstrated a commendable responsiveness to the challenges posed by the regulatory body. The revised plans showcase a notable increase in spending on core railway infrastructure, amounting to approximately £600 million. This financial boost aims to fortify asset sustainability, safety measures, and overall system performance.

Key Highlights of the Final Determination

The ORR's final determination outlines several key aspects of Network Rail's £43.1 billion proposal. These elements are crucial for the development and maintenance of a safe and customer-focused railway system.

  1. Increased Spending on Core Infrastructure: Network Rail's commitment to allocating additional funds to core railway infrastructure is a noteworthy highlight. This investment is expected to have a positive impact on the longevity and reliability of essential assets, ensuring a safer and more efficient railway network.
  2. Emphasis on Safety Measures: The ORR's final determination underscores the importance of safety in railway operations. The increased spending is directed towards implementing enhanced safety measures, addressing concerns raised during the evaluation process. This includes advancements in technology, staff training, and maintenance protocols to reduce the risk of incidents.
  3. Customer-Focused Initiatives: A significant portion of the approved budget is allocated to initiatives aimed at improving the overall customer experience. This involves upgrades to stations, digital infrastructure, and services to enhance passenger satisfaction and convenience.
  4. ORR's Monitoring and Regulation:The ORR's commitment to monitoring and regulating Network Rail's activities is reiterated in the final determination. The regulatory body plays a vital role in ensuring that the allocated funds are utilised effectively and that the proposed improvements are implemented according to the outlined plans.


The approval of Network Rail's £43.1 billion plan by the Office of Rail and Road represents a positive step forward for the UK's railway infrastructure. The increased focus on safety, coupled with customer-centric initiatives, is indicative of a comprehensive approach to addressing the challenges and demands of the modern rail industry. As the plans for Control Period 7 unfold, stakeholders and the public will be keenly observing the implementation of these measures and their impact on creating a safer and more customer-oriented railway network.

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