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Network Rail

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the role of the Office of Rail Regulation is in respect of network enhancements proposed by Network Rail; and if she will make a statement; (211081)

(2) for what reasons the Office of Rail Regulation rejected the scheme proposed by Network Rail to redouble track between Swindon and Kemble.

Following the Secretary of State's publication of the High Level Output Specification (HLOS), specifying what she wants the railways to deliver over the five years from 2009 to 2014, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) asked Network Rail to publish a plan on behalf of the industry setting out how the Government's requirements could be delivered. Network Rail's Strategic Business Plan included enhancement schemes that it considered were needed to deliver the specified outputs.

In its draft determinations, ORR set out which enhancement projects it proposes to provide funding for. Network Rail's Strategic Business Plan included redoubling the track between Swindon and Kemble, but ORR concluded that this was not necessary to deliver the performance improvements specified in the HLOS.