Closure references procedures (pdf 87.44 KB)

1. This document explains how we intend to carry out the ratification role which
has been given to us under the network modification provisions of the Railways
Act 2005 (“the Act”), and the procedures we intend to follow. For ease of
understanding, network modifications are referred to as closures throughout this
document. ORR has no role in respect of minor closures as defined in the Act.
2. In particular this document explains that we will not look at closure proposals
from first principles. A rail funding authority – Department for Transport (DfT), the
Transport Scotland (TS), the National Assembly for Wales (NAW), Passenger
Transport Executives (PTEs) and the Mayor of London - will only make a
reference to us once it has decided that the closure satisfies the criteria in
statutory closures guidance and, having consulted on the proposal, has decided
that the closure should be allowed.
3. What we have to do is decide, in the relevant circumstances, whether there
has been failure in carrying out the consultation and whether there has been a
failure in the assessment of the closure proposal against the criteria in the
closures guidance. Our functions under the Act are explained in more detail in
paragraphs 7 to 10 below.
4. ORR has consulted on the procedures set out in this document and
considered the views expressed by respondents before publishing this final
Legislative Background
5. Sections 22 to 45 of the Act introduced the network modification procedure to
replace the closure provisions of the Railways Act 1993. The new procedure
covers the closure of passenger services, passenger network and stations. There
is now no statutory process for closure of light maintenance depots.
6. Under the new system, closure proposals can be made, under the different
circumstances set out in the legislation, by both service operators and funding
authorities. In all cases, a closure proposal must be assessed against the criteria
in statutory closures guidance and a notice must be sent to the relevant national
authority (the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers). Closures guidance must
be prepared and published by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers, as

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