Proposed reservation charge for access to rail network

ORR consultation (34 pages, PDF) on a proposal for reservation charges to be added to the structure of Network Rail's track access charges. These charges would only be paid in respect of rights that are held but not used to run trains, and with the proceeds redistributed to train operators according to their use of relevant rights. ORR's main proposal appears to be a charge and redistribution system that would apply only to freight operators' rights, or perhaps only to those freight operators' rights deemed to involve use of congested parts of the network. The charge would be levied at a flat rate on whole paths (irrespective of length). The suggested rate is £20, determined by reference to existing arrangements in Switzerland and Hungary and a proposed policy that the charge be set at a "low" level.

The aim of the charge appears to be to reduce the level of headroom rights held by freight operators to manage variations in customer demand. It seems that Network Rail does not offer seasonal rights, and therefore headroom is needed for routine seasonal variations as well as to manage uncertainty.

Responses by Tuesday 30 January 2007.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under ORR, Public transport.

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