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The Railways Infrastructure (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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31.—(1) The Office of Rail and Road is designated as the regulatory body for the purposes of these regulations and when carrying out its functions under these Regulations shall have a duty to act in a manner which is best calculated—

(a)to promote improvements in railway service performance;

(b)to protect the interests of users of railway services;

(c)to promote the use of the railway network for the carriage of passengers and goods, and the development of that network, to the extent that it considers economically practicable;

(d)to contribute to the development of an integrated system of transport of passengers and goods;

(e)to promote efficiency and economy on the part of persons providing railway services;

(f)to promote measures designed to facilitate the making, by passengers, of journeys which involve use of the services of more than one passenger service operator;

(g)to take account of the need to protect all persons from dangers arising from the operation of railways;

(h)to have regard to the effect on the environment of activities connected with the provision of railway services;

(i)to have regard to any general guidance given to it, by the Department, about railway services or other matters relating to railways;

(j)to have regard to the funds available to the Department for the purposes of its functions in relation to railways and railway services;

(k)to have regard to the interests of persons who are disabled when performing its duties relating to the services for the carriage of passengers by railway or to station services; and

(l)where any general guidance is given to the Office of Rail and Road for the purposes of subparagraph (i) above—

(i)it may be varied or revoked by the Department at any time; and

(ii)the guidance, and any variation or revocation of the guidance, must be published by the Department in such manner as it considers appropriate.

(2) The Office of Rail and Road must ensure that charges for the use of railway infrastructure imposed by the infrastructure manager comply with the requirements of Part 4 and Schedule 2.

(3) Negotiations between an applicant and the infrastructure manager about the level of infrastructure charges are only permitted if carried out under the supervision of the Office of Rail and Road and, if such negotiations are likely to contravene the requirements of these regulations, it is the duty of the Office of Rail and Road to intervene.

(4) The Office of Rail and Road may in particular, as part of the intervention mentioned in paragraph (3), issue such directions to the applicant or the infrastructure manager as it considers appropriate for the purpose of ensuring that no contravention arises or, to the extent that a contravention has arisen, that it ceases.

(5) Where the Office of Rail and Road prescribes the manner and form in which any notification or appeal must be lodged in accordance with these regulations, it must publicise this information in such manner as it considers appropriate.

(6) Procedural arrangements made by the Office of Rail and Road must ensure that a person with ultimate responsibility for taking a decision under regulations 32, 33, 34 and 35, complies with the criteria listed in paragraph (7); and

(a)shall include arrangements under which a member, employee or committee-member who has a financial or other personal interest which is likely to influence his performance of a particular function is obliged-

(i)to declare the interest; and

(ii)to withdraw from the performance of the function to the relevant extent.

(b)Procedural arrangements made by the Office of Rail and Road shall include arrangements under which a member, employee or committee-member who has a financial or other personal interest which is relevant to a particular function but does not fall under sub-paragraph (a) is obliged –

(i)to declare the interest; and

(ii)unless the members of the Office of Rail and Road direct otherwise, to withdraw from the performance of the function to the relevant extent

(7) The criteria are that such persons—

(a)must make an annual declaration of—

(i)their commitment to the impartial fulfilment of their duties under these regulations, and

(ii)any direct or indirect interests which may be considered prejudicial to their independence and which might influence their performance of any function;

(b)must withdraw from decision making in cases which concern an undertaking with which they have had a direct or indirect connection in the year before the commencement of any procedure relating to a decision described in paragraph (6);

(c)must not seek or take instructions from any government or other entity when carrying out their functions; and

(d)must have no professional position or responsibility with any regulated railway undertaking or entity for a period of not less than a year commencing at the end of their term of employment to take decisions under paragraph (6).

(8) Without prejudice to the right of any person to make an application to the Court under Order 53 of the Rules of Court Judicature (NI) 1980(1), it is the duty of any person to whom a direction is given under paragraph (4) to comply with and give effect to that direction.

(9) The Office of Rail and Road may levy a charge on the Infrastructure Manager for such fees and expenses as are appropriate for the discharge of its duties.

(1)

Rules of the Court of Judicature under para 3.3 of Schedule 11 to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005

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