Wednesday, 31 July 2013

ORR declines Blackpool and Shrewsbury paths

This from the ORR...

ORR decision on West Coast track access application

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has decided at this stage not to grant access for additional services to Blackpool and Shrewsbury on the West Coast Main Line (WCML).

Extensive analysis of Virgin Trains' recent application for new passenger services on the WCML showed that there is not currently sufficient space on the line to run all of the additional services. The proposals would have also caused further deterioration in punctuality by adding traffic to what is already a very busy route, on which Network Rail is currently not meeting the punctuality targets it has been funded to deliver. The proposals would have a detrimental impact on the journeys of millions of passengers travelling on the route.

Note. This announcement has been made in advance of the adjudication of the Access Disputes Committee, which was due to give its view on Friday...

UPDATE: This from Messrs Dot & Tittle...

Presumably NR will, under the terms of the Access and Management Regs 2005, now have to declare the West Coast to be congested infrastructure

23.—(1) Where, after the co-ordination of requests for capacity and consultation with the applicants in accordance with regulation 20(4), it is not possible for the infrastructure manager to satisfy requests for infrastructure adequately, the infrastructure manager must declare that element of the infrastructure on which such requests cannot be satisfied to be congested.

This then triggers a series of actions, including,

(3) In seeking to determine measures to alleviate congestion the infrastructure manager must consider, in particular—
(a) re-routing of services;
(b) re-timing of services;
(c) alterations to the line-speed; and
(d) infrastructure improvements.

Sadly there doesn’t appear to be a clause in the Regs which allows them to do nothing for 13 years in the hopeful expectation that HS2 will solve everything!

Bring on PUG3!