ORR has published its final determination on the plans, which will run for five years from 1 April 2019, known as Control Period 6 (CP6). The plans cover maintenance and renewal along with improved daily operations.
The regulator has set out what Network Rail will be expected to deliver in Scotland, reflecting the requirements that the Scottish government set in its High Level Output Specification (HLOS). This includes specific measures for Network Rail to deliver journey time improvements for both passenger and freight operators and achieve a punctuality target of 92.5%. ORR’s final determination also requires Network Rail to take steps to make rail freight more attractive to business across Scotland and to facilitate 7.5% growth by the end of CP6.
The ORR is also setting up a stronger framework to hold the Scotland route to account.
The ORR said that it supports plans for increased investment in research & development with a GB-wide fund of £245m, of which £26m will be funded from the Scotland route settlement. This is to be spent on projects that are intended to deliver a range of benefits, including those that would improve the reliability of the network.
ORR chief executive John Larkinson said: "Today’s decisions mean that Network Rail, the Scotland route and the system operator can now implement their plans to deliver a service which passengers and freight customers rightly demand and deserve. These plans are focussed on improving performance for passengers and freight operators by getting the basics right – ensuring that the railway is properly maintained and renewed, and on improving the daily operation of the railway.”