Office Of Rail and Road Announce Inquiry Terms of Reference

The Office of Rail and Road confirmed to me that they’ve now published their Terms of Reference for the Glaister Inquiry which will look into what went so badly wrong with the timetable revamp from May.  It’s crucial that this Review establishes what happened and how we can prevent this occurring again.    With another timetable update due in December, I want to make it clear that all steps must be taken prior to this introduction to ensure that the chaos is not repeated and lessons are learned from this period.   The interim Inquiry publication in September will be crucial to this.

ORR Inquiry Terms of Reference

We have today formally launched our Independent Inquiry into the recent and widespread timetable disruption suffered on the railway and published the Inquiry Terms of Reference. The inquiry is being led by ORR’s Chair, Professor Stephen Glaister.

The ORR has confirmed that the Inquiry will:

  • identify factors that contributed to the failure to produce and introduce a satisfactory operational timetable;
  • reach conclusions about managing risks created by major network changes; and
  • make recommendations to the industry and government before any future major network changes.

The Inquiry will focus on what actually took place when the timetable was introduced, compared to what should have happened. It will concentrate on the evidence of where there were differences, and the underlying causes.

It will examine the disruption experienced by passengers, especially on lines served by Northern and Govia Thameslink Railway, and in addition will look at:

  • how Network Rail and the train operators worked together, before and after introduction of the timetable;
  • Network Rail’s role in delivering network enhancements;
  • the Department for Transport’s own role in planning enhancements and franchises; and
  • the industry’s readiness in preparing for timetable changes.

The Inquiry will collect evidence from a range of organisations, including passenger representatives such as Transport Focus, and be supported by an expert panel of external advisers. This advisory panel will also challenge whether the ORR’s own role, as regulator of Network Rail and of the train operating companies, has been properly assessed by the Inquiry.

The Inquiry will be split into three phases – evidence-gathering, analysis and the development of recommendations. An interim report will be published in September.

The terms of reference are available here (PDF). The ORR press release on publication of the ToR is here.