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Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003

Office of Rail Regulation

230.The Better Regulation Task Force report ‘Economic Regulators’ (July 2001) favoured regulatory boards on the lines of a public limited company with a combination of executive and non-executive members. This was seen as providing a wide range of expertise, greater continuity and more transparent accountability. These benefits have been widely accepted and rail is the only remaining utility regulator that is not a board or in the process of being made into a board.

231.There will be additional costs for the appointment of additional non-executive members to a Regulatory Board of the Office of Rail Regulation. This would be recovered at least in part from the regulated industry, to some extent offset indirectly by increases in public subsidy. The extra costs would probably be less than £200k, which is less than a 1.5% increase in the costs of the regulator, and compares with annual income of about £3.9 billion for Network Rail alone.

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