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Wed September 22 2021

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High hopes for rail planning toolkit

16 Aug The government has teamed up with Network Rail to produce a website that it hopes will improve decision-making in the planning of rail projects.

Better Value Rail (BVR) is described as a “toolkit aimed at ideas before they become projects”.

The website,, is intended to help deliver projects more quickly and cheaper by reducing bad decision-making. BVR is a joint initiative of the Department for Transport, the Office of Rail & Road (ORR) and Network Rail. It was officially launched on 13th August 2021.

The toolkit is made up of four sections, Strategy, Exploration, Examination, and Culture & Capability.

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Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “The Better Value Rail toolkit has been developed based on listening extensively to stakeholders about how we can provide clear advice and support, be easier to do business with and help ensure focus on schemes that have a good chance of being delivered. That’s why we believe the toolkit will help us turn good ideas into great schemes, delivering for passengers, local communities and the taxpayer.”

ORR chief executive John Larkinson said: “We have to make sure that money available to develop new rail schemes is used wisely. I’m pleased that the rail industry has worked closely together here, and as a joint team, to help people develop projects. The toolkit is a one-stop shop to help make better decisions earlier and identify the right solutions to drive better value by saving time and money.”

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: “This is a brilliant new website that brings together the best thinking and ideas from across the rail industry and allows everyone to access it. We have created a toolkit for early-stage thinking that will make the delivery of transport infrastructure projects faster and cheaper as we build back better on our railways.”

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