The Office of Rail Regulation will change its name to the Office of Rail and Road from 1 April 2015.
The change has been made to reflect new responsibilities for monitoring the efficiency and performance of England’s strategic road network as the Highways Agency changes to Highways England.
Last year the UK government announced a £15 billion roads investment plan for England’s strategic roads network between 2015/16 and 2020/21. Through the Infrastructure Act 2015, reforms have also been made to the structure of the sector to support this programme of investment. From 1 April 2015, the Highways Agency will become a government-owned company, Highways England, with specific performance improvements and investment to deliver over the five-year funding period. ORR will take on the responsibility to independently monitor and enforce the performance and efficiency of Highways England. Passenger Focus will become Transport Focus, taking on additional responsibility to protect and promote the interests of road users.
ORR will work to secure improved performance and efficiency as well as safety and sustainability from the strategic road network to benefit road users and the public. ORR will focus on increasing transparency, making more information available on Highways England’s performance and provide robust advice to the Secretary of State on future performance requirements. ORR will forge synergies between its rail and roads functions, sharing experience between the two roles, and drawing on joint support functions for rail and roads.