Review of Charges

RDG’s Review of Charges has now concluded.  

The review was designed to enable the rail industry to take a fresh look at how train operators are charged to run trains on Network Rail’s infrastructure. It also considered how Network Rail and trains operators’ incentives can be better aligned to improve industry outcomes.

The review team brought together the owners of Great Britain’s passenger and freight operating companies with Network Rail, whilst working closely with the governments and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

The study has allowed the industry to set out its views on the charges and incentives regime to help inform ORR’s next periodic review (PR18), and future reviews. By setting out industry’s views before the start of PR18, we hope to allow ORR to focus its resources on those areas where the industry has identified the most significant issues.

The first of the review’s three phases, which completed in October 2014, produced a vision outlining what the charges and incentives regime should deliver over the next 15 years. It also provides a framework against which different options can be assessed later in the review. The development of the vision was supported by FTI Consulting.

The second phase of the review completed in April 2015 and assessed how the current charges and incentives regime performs against the vision framework. It also identified possible scenarios, or ‘states of the world’, in which the industry may operate in the future, reflecting, for example, changes to franchising, the degree of regional decision making, or on-rail competition. Phase 2 was supported by LEK Consulting.

The third and final phase completed in November 2015. It assessed a range of options for changes to charges and incentives. The options sought to address the gaps in the current regime that were identified in the previous phase of work. We also identified the main institutional, policy, economic and practical factors that should be considered by policymakers when proposing changes to the regime. Phase 3 was support by Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA).

We have now published a summary report to draw together the findings from all three phases of the review.

Key dates

The Review of Charges began in early 2014 and concluded in November 2015. The key dates for review are set out below:

  • Phase 1: Vision for charges and incentives - completed September 2014
  • Phase 2: Assessment of current charge and incentives regime and identify possible future ‘states of the world’ - completed April 2015
  • Phase 3: Develop options for a new and/or updated charges and incentives regime - completed November 2015

Outputs

We are committed to keeping stakeholders informed about our progress. Here are the documents relating to the Review of Charges:

Charges and Incentives user guide (PDF, 441Kb) 9 July 2014
RDG vision for the charges and incentives regime in the long run (PDF, 302Kb) 2 December 2014
Presentation made as part of Phase 1
ORR structure of charges review (PDF, 103Kb) 5 December 2014
Current and potential alternative states of the world (PDF, 482Kb) 11 May 2015
Presentation made as part of Phase 2a
Assessment of the current charges and incentives regime (PDF, 1.08Mb) 11 May 2015
Presentation made as part of Phase 2b
Review of factors impacting the form and/or the effectiveness of charges and incentives (PDF, 1.21Mb) 13 November 2015
Identifies the main institutional, policy, economic and practical factors that should be considered by policymakers when proposing changes to the regime
Initial options assessment report (PDF, 1.24Mb) 13 November 2015
Findings from RDG's high-level assessment of 22 options for changes to charges and incentives
Detailed options assessment report (PDF, 1.4Mb) 13 November 2015
Findings from RDG's more detailed analysis of seven options for changes to charges and incentives
Station charges report (PDF, 790Kb) 26 November 2015
Findings from RDG’s review of stations charging
Summary report (PDF, 905Kb) 26 November 2015
Summarises the findings across all three phases of RDG's Review of Charges project

Getting involved

We would welcome your views on any aspect of the Review of Charges, so email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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