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  • McNulty report published

  • Sir Roy McNulty's independent Rail Value for Money Study was published today (19 May 2011). The review, jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail Regulation, recommends ways in which the whole industry can work towards delivering a safe and efficient railway which represents value-for-money for customers and taxpayers.

    You can download the report at the Office of Rail Regulation website.

    Welcoming the report, David Higgins, chief executive, said: "We are well on our way to cutting the cost of running the rail network by over £5bn in the current control period 2009-2014. We recognise there is more we can do to bring about fundamental change within our organisation to make it more efficient and customer focussed, which will include a completely new kind of relationship with train operators and with suppliers.

    "Sir Roy's work gives the industry the direction it must take, a direction that has our full support. That will involve more change, but it is change for the better, change that will deliver an even better performing, sustainable railway for Britain."


    The study describes its package of recommendations as a major evolution rather than revolution and many recommendations reflect the journey that we have started. Key recommendations include:

    • The rail industry should be 30% more efficient by 2018/19
    • Stronger joint industry leadership
    • Closer working together between Network Rail and operators
    • Devolution of responsibility so that that decisions are made as close to customers and the market as possible
    • Reformed central roles for government, the industry regulator and for Network Rail

    Committed to change

    The report also went on to say "Over the last year, the study has observed significant changes in the orientation of Network Rail and the train operating companies. Network Rail is now clearly committed to change, to a new focus on its customers' needs, and to greater levels of safety, transparency and accountability."

    Paul Plummer, director Planning and Development, commented on the future responsibilities highlighted for Network Rail in the study: "The railway still needs to be planned and operated as a network and the study identifies the crucial role that exists for a central Network Rail structure in the industry responsible for system coordination and assurance, to make the most of economies of scale, and to deliver a range of support activities."

    New group to take forward recommendations

    As a part of our commitment to delivering a higher performing, more cost effective and sustainable railway network for Britain's rail users and taxpayers, we have set up the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) together with other rail industry leaders.

    The new group is made up of the most senior figures in the industry, including the chief executives of the passenger and freight train operating owning groups, and will be chaired by Tim O'Toole, the chief executive of FirstGroup.

    The group will focus on industry-wide issues, including the strategy and long-term vision for the railway. It will seek to inform key choices facing governments and the development of plans in response to governments' output specifications. It will consider and implement change in response to key recommendations from McNulty, including the proposal for a rail systems agency.

    The RDG will normally meet bi-monthly but for the rest of the year it will meet monthly and be joined by Sir Roy McNulty to help the group, and the railway as a whole, take forward his recommendations.