ORR proposes £26 million charges per year to keep HS1’s asset in good condition

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today proposed that train operators using High Speed 1 (HS1) will pay £26 million per year to keep its assets in good condition.

While future costs (we look 40 years ahead) will be higher than now, as the asset is getting older and needs more work, the amount is £9million per year less than HS1 – which runs 67 miles of high-speed track linking London with the Channel Tunnel – requested. ORR’s analysis determined that the lower figure is sufficient, and will bring a lower rise in charges to operators using the route.

The Draft Determination as it is called will now go out to public consultation until 11 November, before the Final Determination of the bill for the next five years is announced in January.

We have accepted the majority of HS1 Ltd’s proposals but made recommendations about how the asset should be managed, these include reviewing its approach to asset life, seeking efficiencies in its supply chain and improving its approach to research and development.

The consultation will ask for stakeholder views on our Draft Determination in light of those considerations.

John Larkinson, ORR Chief Executive, said:

“High Speed 1 is a valuable public asset and our role is to provide independent assurance that High Speed 1’s assets can be kept in good condition over the long term at the lowest possible cost. This is important to make sure that operators and, in turn, passengers and freight users get a good deal now but not at the expense of future generations.

“We now invite views of stakeholders before announcing our Final Determination in January next year.”