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Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003


174.Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for a range of regulatory work including inspection activities applied to the rail industry. Since October 1999, there has been a charge for this work, on an hourly basis. Such charges only cover part of the cost of HSE’s work on railway safety; for example they do not cover work relating to policy-making or all operational activities.

175.Ministers agreed that the impact of charging would be reviewed after two years. The review revealed that the existing charging regime was seen as bureaucratic, and stakeholders could not easily budget for charges. HSE held a consultation exercise with industry stakeholders on the principle of a railway safety levy between the end of November and 20 December 2002.

176.Regulations to require the payment of a levy require primary legislation, because levies cannot be imposed under Regulations made under section 43(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (which provides vires for the existing charging regime).

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