ORR raises concerns over NR risk funding in Scotland

Issuing its latest annual report on Network Rail’s progress in delivering the five-year plan for Control Period 6 (CP6, 2019-24), the regulator says the infrastructure owner’s plans are “broadly on track”.

However, it “raises concerns about the remaining levels of risk funding, particularly in Scotland, and that continued focus is also needed to deliver renewal work”.

Partly due to the effects of COVID-19, ORR says that NR’s risk funding has “reduced considerably” to £0.8 billion from the £2.7bn shown in the 2019 business plan.

While NR’s renewals work is largely being delivered on track, ORR also cautions that some of this work, such as signalling and telecommunications, has been put back towards the end of CP6. ORR has emphasised the need for Network Rail to effectively manage deliverability risks.

The regulator judges that NR has made good progress overall in finding £3.5bn of efficiency savings in CP6, and says that “where improvements are needed in Scotland… it is taking on board ORR’s feedback to improve”.

ORR Chief Executive John Larkinson said: “Network Rail has continued to deliver well in extremely challenging and changing circumstances. Work to renew the railway is broadly on track and Network Rail has listened to us and delivered its early efficiency commitments.

For the full story, see RAIL 932

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