ORR to develop compensation system for track access rights

Grounds (21 pages, PDF) for ORR's proposed decision (2 pages, PDF) to allow Network Rail to grant Transport for London a 30-year option for track access on the East London Line, provided that Network Rail has a right to terminate access “subject to the payment of suitable compensation” at any time after the first 10 years of the project.

ORR proposes to spend six months trying to develop an acceptable set of terms for the option, including provisions for compulsory loss of access rights and for the associated compensation. If no agreement can be reached, ORR proposes to permit a 20-year non-cancellable track access option.

Long-term access contracts with compensation for loss of access rights were considered in 2001, but the issue became less important for DfT franchises when the Government abandoned the concept of 20-year investment-driven passenger rail franchises in favour to a return to 7-10 year operating contracts. But in the case of the East London Line extension project the funder is Transport for London, who seeks a long-term commitment to capacity that would not depend on the DfT's continued goodwill.

Train operation on the extended East London Line will be part of the London Overground franchise awarded today to MTR Laing for seven years.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under ORR, Public transport.

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