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Key decisions we will be making
As part of the periodic review, we will be making a number of important decisions and providing advice to Ministers on matters such as public funding. The key issues are summarised below and set out in further detail in our consultation document. Your views are welcome on all of these.
How to enable more local decision making
The devolution of Network Rail decision-making from national to route level will provide greater focus on the local needs of the railway, train operators and their users, providing for better partnerships. We will undertake much of our analysis at the route level, for example working out how much Network Rail needs to spend. To allow this, we will require, and publish, more disaggregated financial information from Network Rail.
How to improve incentives
We intend to improve the incentives on Network Rail and the industry to reduce costs and deliver more for customers by working together. For example, we plan a route-based efficiency benefit sharing mechanism for Network Rail and train operators to share the savings where outputs are delivered more efficiently than we assumed.
How to establish what Network Rail should achieve
In setting Network Rail’s outcome and output obligations, we need to decide how these can best be framed to ensure that they are delivered and represent value for money. We also need to consider which outputs should also involve train operating companies.
How to set Network Rail’s financial framework
We are consulting on a number of issues relating to the financial framework in which Network Rail will operate in the next control period. These include the length of the control period, how Network Rail is expected to manage risks, and the rate of return on the regulated asset base.
How to set train operator charges
Train operators pay access charges to Network Rail. We are considering changes to how charges currently work, including moving to charges based on how congested the network is and measures to reduce the amount of electricity that trains use.
We are also considering changes to the basis by which open access passenger operators pay for track access and exploring how greater on-rail competition could work in practice. We will be publishing a study on on-rail competition in July.