- UK legislation
Railway regulatory legislation
The following is a list of legislation relevant to our work as the economic and health and safety regulator for the rail industry. Where more information is available on this website we have provided direct links.
Acts are published by the Office of Public Sector Information. You should be aware that Acts may have been amended since they were passed.
This Act contains most of our functions including, but not limited to:
- access agreements;
- review of access charges; and
It also contains in section 4 our statutory duties which we must take into account in exercising our functions.
The Act largely amends the Railways Act 1993. The Act made a number of changes to our regulatory framework, including:
- a change to the statutory framework for periodic reviews of access charges;
- transferring responsibility for rail-specific health and safety regulation from the Health and Safety Executive to us;
- creation of additional functions for us, including a role in dealing with closures;
- transferring responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the licence conditions concerning consumer protection from the Strategic Rail Authority; and
- providing advice and assistance to the Secretary of State for Transport, Scottish Ministers and the National Assembly of Wales.
This is the fundamental piece of health and safety legislation. It places general duties on employers, people in control of premises, manufacturers and employees. Health and safety regulations made under this Act contain more detailed provisions.
The Act provides the framework for the regulation of industrial health and safety in the UK which is relevant to us as the health and safety regulator for the rail industry.
These regulations implement EU safety requirements for railway operators and infrastructure managers. ROGS states, in outline, that those with responsibility for safety must maintain a safety management system and hold a safety certificate/authorisation issued by us, before being allowed to operate.
The regulations also make provision for the safe design of new vehicles and infrastructure, impose controls on safety critical work and, following amendments in 2011, make provision for entities in charge of maintenance of railway vehicles. More can be found in our ROGS section.
This Act provides for level crossing orders to be made which contain detailed provisions for the protection of level crossing users.
We are the enforcing authority for these regulations which implement European Directives which have the purpose of establishing common operational standards and practices across European railways.
This bans certain kinds of commercial behaviour because of the harm they cause to consumers and competition generally. We enforce the Act where this type of behaviour involves services relating to the railways.
More information can be found in our competition section.
As a public body we need to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). The Act gives you the right of access to all types of recorded information held by us, with the aim of promoting a spirit of openness and transparency. We would normally have to deal with a request for information within 20 working days of receiving it.
This contains provisions relating to competition and consumer protection law. It provides us with the power to refer rail-related markets that are not working well for consumers to the Competition Commission. The Act also gives us the responsibility for dealing with 'supercomplaints' made by consumer bodies about problems in rail-related markets.
The Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority for Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 2006 (EARR 2006)
These regulations make us the enforcing authority for railway aspects of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. This gives us the power to serve enforcement notices, and prosecute for breaches in health and safety law affecting the railways.
These regulations implement European Directives which open up access to previously exempt facilities such as ports and terminals and other freight depots and networks. It gives access seekers the right to make an appeal to us should they feel aggrieved about access or charging in relation to these facilities.
The regulations give us the authority to issue European licences and Statements of National Provisions (SNRPs). European licences are valid across Europe - SNRPs are only relevant to the UK. More information can be found in our licensing section.
These regulations give us the authority to raise a levy from all railway service providers to fund railway safety functions.
The Act that, amongst other things, abolished the Rail Regulator and created the Office of Rail Regulation.
These regulations require dutyholders to notify us of significant health and safety incidents on the railways.
This Act has been largely superseded by the Railways Act 2005. It amended the Railways Act 1993 enabling us in certain circumstances to require the operators or owners of railway facilities to provide new or improved facilities.
Last updated: February 2013.