Network Rail “needs to transform its approach to procuring and delivering signalling projects”, the Office of Rail and Road has reported.
Publishing a series of recommendations on November 9, the regulator said it had found that “the current market is not competitive enough, with too few suppliers, high costs, and Network Rail not having the procurement practices in place to benefit from its considerable buyer power”.
- Creating a new approach aimed at rewarding pro-competitive behaviour.
- Widening the pool of suppliers and reducing Network Rail’s dependency on incumbent suppliers.
- Ensuring NR’s procurement processes are run on genuinely competitive terms and “do not unduly favour existing suppliers or penalise ‘first movers’ in new technology”.
- Providing suppliers with greater certainty.
ORR Chief Executive John Larkinson said that more than 40,000 signals need to be replaced within the next 15 years, and that Siemens Mobility and Alstom account for more than 90% of Network Rail’s major signalling spend.
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