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Railways Act 2005 (c. 14)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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(ii) the proposal date; and

(b) a summary of the results of the assessment carried out in accordance with subsection (5).

(5) Before--

(a) giving the notice under subsection (3)(a), in a case where it is not itself the national authority, or

(b) in any other case, carrying out the consultation under subsection (3)(b),

the railway funding authority making the proposal must carry out an assessment of whether the proposal satisfies the criteria set out in the relevant part of the closures guidance; and that assessment must be carried out in accordance with that guidance.

(6) If arrangements under or in accordance with which the station or part of a station is being operated do not require it to be operated until the end of the interim period, the national authority must secure the operation of the station, or that part of it, until the end of that period.

(7) If on a reference under subsection (3)(c) the Office of Rail Regulation issues a closure non-ratification notice, the national authority must secure the continued operation of the station, or part of a station, in question after the end of the interim period.

(8) In this section "the national authority"--

(a) in relation to a proposal relating to a station or part of a station that is wholly in Scotland, means the Scottish Ministers; and

(b) in relation to a proposal relating to a station or part of a station that is wholly in England and Wales, means the Secretary of State.

31 Proposal to discontinue operation of secured station

(1) This section applies where--

(a) a railway funding authority makes a proposal, in accordance with section 41, that the operation of a secured station or of a secured part of a station should be discontinued;

(b) the station or, as the case may be, that part of it has, at any time within the preceding five years, been used for or in connection with the provision of services for the carriage of passengers by railway;

(c) the station or that part of it is not excluded from the application of this section by an order under section 38; and

(d) the proposal is not a proposal for a minor modification.

(2) Use for or in connection with the provision of any of the following services is to be disregarded for the purposes of subsection (1)(b)--

(a) an experimental passenger service;

(b) a service involving travel through the Channel Tunnel;

(c) a service that is provided otherwise than as a regular scheduled service.

(3) The railway funding authority making the proposal must--

(a) give notice of its proposal to the national authority, if it is not itself that authority;

(b) carry out a consultation under Schedule 7 about the proposal; and

(c) after carrying out that consultation, either withdraw the proposal or refer the proposal (with or without modifications) to the Office of Rail Regulation.

(4) A notice to the national authority under subsection (3)(a) must set out--

(a) particulars of the proposal for the closure including, in particular--

(i) the station, or part of a station, to which the proposal relates; and

(ii) the proposal date; and

(b) a summary of the results of the assessment carried out in accordance with subsection (5).

(5) Before--

(a) giving the notice under subsection(3)(a) , in a case where it is not itself the national authority, or

(b) in any other case, carrying out the consultation under subsection (3)(b),

the railway funding authority making the proposal must carry out an assessment of whether the proposal satisfies the criteria set out in the relevant part of the closures guidance; and that assessment must be carried out in accordance with that guidance.

(6) If arrangements under or in accordance with which the station, or part of a station, is being operated do not require it to be operated until the end of the interim period, the national authority must secure the operation of the station, or that part of it, until the end of that period.

(7) If on a reference under subsection (3)(c) the Office of Rail Regulation issues a closure non-ratification notice, the national authority must secure the continued operation of the station, or part of a station, in question after the end of the interim period.

(8) The duty of the national authority under subsection (7) is discharged without its taking further steps so long as the provisions of the arrangements, in force at the time of the proposal, so far as they require the operation of the station or part of a station, continue in force without modification.

(9) In this section "the national authority"--

(a) in relation to a proposal relating to a station or part of a station that is wholly in Scotland, means the Scottish Ministers; and

(b) in relation to a proposal relating to a station or part of a station that is wholly in England and Wales, means the Secretary of State.



References to the ORR

32 References to the ORR

(1) This section applies to a reference of a proposal to the Office of Rail Regulation under any provision of this Part.

(2) The reference may be made only if the person making it considers that the proposal, or (as the case may be) the proposal as modified, satisfies the criteria set out in the relevant part of the closures guidance.

(3) The reference must set out particulars of the proposal including, in particular--

(a) the services or the network or station, or part of a network or station, to which the proposal relates; and

(b) the proposal date.

(4) The reference must be accompanied by--

(a) a report by the person making the reference on the outcome of the consultation carried out by that person;

(b) a statement by that person as to whether the proposal that is referred is a modified proposal;

(c) a statement, if it is a modified proposal, setting out what modifications have been made; and

(d) a full assessment of whether the proposal, or (as the case may be) the proposal as modified, satisfies the criteria set out in the relevant part of the closures guidance.

(5) The duty of the Office of Rail Regulation on the reference is--

(a) to consider whether the person making the reference properly carried out the consultation he was required to carry out in accordance with this Part; and

(b) unless it is satisfied that--

(i) there has been a failure or other defect in the carrying out of the consultation, and

(ii) the failure or defect makes it inappropriate for the Office to make the determination required by this paragraph,

to determine whether the proposal, or (as the case may be) the proposal as modified, satisfies the criteria set out in the relevant part of the closures guidance.

(6) The person making the reference must provide the Office of Rail Regulation with all such information as it may require for the purpose of carrying out its functions under this section.

(7) If the Office of Rail Regulation is satisfied--

(a) that the proposal, or (as the case may be) the proposal as modified, fails to satisfy the criteria set out in the relevant part of the closures guidance, or

(b) that there has been a failure or other defect in the carrying out of the consultation that makes it inappropriate for that Office to make a determination of whether the proposal, or (as the case may be) the proposal as modified, satisfies those criteria,

it must issue a notice to that effect (a "closure non-ratification notice").

(8) If, on completing its functions under subsection (5), the Office of Rail Regulation is not so satisfied, it must issue a notice to that effect (a "closure ratification notice").

(9) Where, on a reference, the Office of Rail Regulation issues a closure non-ratification notice or a closure ratification notice it must--

(a) give a copy of that notice to every person mentioned in subsection (10); and

(b) require every operator of a station in the area affected by the proposal, or (as the case may be) the proposal as modified, to whom it gives a copy of the notice to secure that a copy of the notice is published by being displayed at that station until the end of the interim period.

(10) The persons to whom a copy of the closure ratification notice or closure non-ratification notice must be given under subsection (9) are--

(a) the person who made the reference;

(b) every person to whom a notice was required to be sent under paragraph 3 of Schedule 7 in the consultation relating to the proposal;

(c) every person otherwise consulted under that paragraph in that consultation; and

(d) such other persons as the Office of Rail Regulation consider appropriate.

(11) In subsection (9) "the area affected", in relation to a proposal, means--

(a) in the case of a proposal for the discontinuance of services on a particular line or from a particular station, the area in which the line or station is situated;

(b) in the case of a proposal relating to a network, or part of a network, the area in which the network, or part of a network, is situated;

(c) in the case of a proposal relating to a station, or part of a station, the area served by the station, or that part.

(12) The issue of a closure ratification notice does not authorise anything which (but for that notice) would constitute a contravention of any franchise agreement or other arrangements under or in accordance with which--

(a) any franchised service or secured service or other railway passenger service is being provided or is being funded (whether in whole or in part); or

(b) any network or station or part of a network or station is being operated or is being funded (whether in whole or in part);

and in the carrying out of any functions conferred on that Office under or in relation to any such agreement or arrangements that Office may have regard to the issue of the closure ratification notice but is not required to secure that the closure takes place.

33 Closure requirements

(1) This section applies where, following a reference under this Part, the Office of Rail Regulation issues a closure ratification notice.

(2) The Office of Rail Regulation may, when it issues the closure ratification notice, impose such requirements relevant to the proposal as it considers appropriate on such one or more of the following as it thinks fit, namely--

(a) the Secretary of State;

(b) the Scottish Ministers;

(c) the National Assembly for Wales;

(d) a Passenger Transport Authority;

(e) a Passenger Transport Executive;

(f) the Mayor of London;

(g) Transport for London;

(h) a person designated as a railway funding authority by an order under section 45(4);

(i) a relevant operator.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a requirement is relevant to a proposal if it relates to any matter which fell to be taken into account in making an assessment whether the proposal or (as the case may be) the proposal as modified satisfied the criteria set out in the relevant part of the closures guidance.

(4) In subsection (2)(i) "relevant operator" means--

(a) in the case of a proposal to which section 22 or 25 applies, the service operator within the meaning of the section in question;

(b) in the case of a proposal to which section 26 or 29 applies, the operator of the network or station, or part of a network or station, in question; and

(c) in the case of a proposal to which section 37(2) applies, the person providing the experimental passenger service in question.

(5) A person on whom a requirement is imposed under this section must comply with it.

(6) The Office of Rail Regulation may from time to time vary or revoke a requirement imposed under this section.

(7) Before exercising its power under this section to vary or revoke a requirement, the Office of Rail Regulation must consult such persons as it thinks appropriate.

(8) Where the Office of Rail Regulation exercises its power under this section to impose, vary or revoke a requirement, it must--

(a) give notice of that requirement, variation or revocation to every person to whom a copy of the closure ratification notice relating to the reference was given under section 32(9); and

(b) require every operator of a station in the area affected by the requirement, variation or revocation to whom it gives notice of the requirement, variation or revocation to secure that a copy of the notice is published by being displayed at that station--

(i) in the case of the imposition of a requirement, until the end of the interim period;

(ii) in the case of the variation or revocation of a requirement, for such period as the Office of Rail Regulation may specify at the time of giving notice under paragraph (a).

(9) In subsection (8) "the area affected", in relation to a requirement imposed under this section in relation to a closure, means--

(a) in the case of a closure consisting in the discontinuance of services on a particular line, or from a particular station, the area in which the line or station is situated;

(b) in the case of a closure relating to a network, or part of a network, the area in which the network, or part of a network, is situated;

(c) in the case of a closure relating to a station, or part of a station, the area served by the station, or that part;

and "the area affected", in relation to the variation or revocation of such a requirement, is to be construed accordingly.



Excluded proposals

34 Minor modifications

(1) A proposal is a proposal for a minor modification if--

(a) it is a proposal for a closure which has been determined under the following provisions of this section to be a minor modification; or

(b) it is a proposal for a closure of a description of closures in relation to which such a determination has been made.

(2) It is the Scottish Ministers who may make a determination that a closure is a minor modification, or that closures of a particular description are minor modifications, where the only closures to which the determination relates consist in--

(a) the discontinuance of one or more Scotland-only services;

(b) the discontinuance of one or more cross-border services in relation to which no funding is provided by a railway funding authority other than the Scottish Ministers;

(c) the discontinuance of two or more services none of which is a service not mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b);

(d) the discontinuance of a network or part of a network that is wholly in Scotland; or

(e) the discontinuance of a station or part of a station that is wholly in Scotland.

(3) It is the Secretary of State who, in any other case, may make a determination that a closure is a minor modification, or that closures of a particular description are minor modifications.

(4) A determination may be made under this section only if the person making it considers--

(a) in the case of a determination relating to a particular closure, that the closure is eligible under section 35 to be regarded as a minor modification; or

(b) in the case of a determination relating to a description of closures, that all the closures falling within that description are or will be so eligible.

(5) A person who makes a determination under this section in relation to a particular closure for the purposes of section 22, 26 or 29 may make it subject to conditions; and, in such a case, the closure is not to be treated as a minor modification unless, as the case may be--

(a) the person providing the service or services to be discontinued, or

(b) the person operating or using the network or station, or the part of a network or station, in question,

has agreed to comply with those conditions.

(6) The person who makes a determination under this section in relation to a particular closure must notify the Office of Rail Regulation about that determination.

(7) A determination under this section in relation to a description of closures may be revoked at any time by the person who made it.

(8) A person who makes or revokes a determination under this section in relation to a description of closures must--

(a) send a copy of the determination or revocation to the Office of Rail Regulation; and

(b) publish it in such manner as he considers appropriate.

(9) The revocation of such a determination shall not affect any closure if its status has been relied on before the revocation as grounds for--

(a) a failure to give a notice under this Part; or

(b) the carrying out of any closure.

(10) Any general determination which--

(a) has been made under section 46A of the 1993 Act,

(b) is a determination that closures of a particular class or description are minor closures, and

(c) is in force immediately before the coming into force of this section,

shall have effect after that time as a determination made under this section that closures of that class or description are minor modifications for the purposes of this Part.

(11) Any conditions agreed to under section 37(1), 39(1) or 41(1) of the 1993 Act in connection with any determination under the section in question that a closure is a minor closure shall have effect after the commencement of this section as if agreed to for the purposes of subsection (5).

35 Closures eligible to be treated as minor modifications

(1) The discontinuance of a railway passenger service is eligible to be treated as a minor modification so far as the service is a service on a stretch of line along which there is no station (or no station in use) and the circumstances are such that--

(a) trains that would otherwise use that stretch of line in travelling between two stations will instead pass along an alternative route; and

(b) passengers travelling on such a train will not be required to make additional changes and will not incur significant increases of journey times.

(2) The discontinuance of the operation of a part of a network is eligible to be treated as a minor modification so far as that part of the network consists in a stretch of track along which there is no station (or no station in use) and the circumstances are such that--

(a) trains that would otherwise use that stretch of line in travelling between two stations will instead pass along an alternative route; and

(b) passengers travelling on such a train will not be required to make additional changes and will not incur significant increases of journey times.

(3) The discontinuance of the operation of a part of a network is eligible to be treated as a minor modification so far as that part of the network consists of a stretch of track which does no more than serve a station or light maintenance depot, or some part of it, and the circumstances are such that--

(a) that part of the network is not necessary for the operation or use of a station, or part of a station, for the purposes of or in connection with the provision of railway passenger services; or

(b) the operation or use of such station or part of a station as is served by that part of the network is or has been the subject of a proposal which is a proposal for a minor modification.

(4) The discontinuance of the operation of a part of a network is eligible to be treated as a minor modification so far as--

(a) that part of the network consists of installations associated with any such stretch of track as is mentioned in subsection (2) or (3); and

(b) the circumstances are as mentioned in that subsection.

(5) The discontinuance of the operation or use of--

(a) a part of a network (other than track), or

(b) a part of a station,

is eligible to be treated as a minor modification so far as the operation or use of that part of the network or that part of the station is not necessary for the operation or use of the network or station for or in connection with the provision of railway passenger services.

(6) Where it appears to the Secretary of State or the Scottish Ministers that closures of any description not specified in this section should, because of their temporary nature or limited effect on the provision of railway passenger services, be treated as minor modifications, the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the Scottish Ministers may, by order, provide for closures of that description to be treated for the purposes of section 34 as eligible under this section to be so treated.

(7) It is the Scottish Ministers who may make an order under subsection (6) where the only closures to which the order relates consist in--

(a) the discontinuance of one or more Scotland-only services;

(b) the discontinuance of one or more cross-border services in relation to which no funding is provided by a railway funding authority other than the Scottish Ministers;

(c) the discontinuance of two or more services none of which is a service not mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b);

(d) the discontinuance of a network or part of a network that is wholly in Scotland; or

(e) the discontinuance of a station or part of a station that is wholly in Scotland;

and it is the Secretary of State who may make such an order in any other case.

(8) An order under subsection (6) is subject to the negative resolution procedure.

36 Designation of experimental passenger services

(1) The power to designate a railway passenger service as experimental for the purposes of this Part is exercisable--

(a) if it is a Scotland-only service, by the Scottish Ministers;

(b) if it is a cross-border service in respect of which more funding is provided by the Scottish Ministers than the Secretary of State, by those Ministers;

(c) if it is a Welsh service in respect of which more funding is provided by the National Assembly for Wales than the Secretary of State, by the National Assembly for Wales; and

(d) in the case of any other service, by the Secretary of State.

(2) The designation must be in relation to a line or station on or from which the service will be provided.

(3) A service may not be designated as experimental for a period exceeding five years.

(4) Where a service is designated as experimental for a period of less than five years--

(a) the designation may subsequently be extended (on one or more occasions) by the person who made it; but

(b) the aggregate of the periods for which the service is designated as experimental must not exceed five years.

(5) In determining for the purposes of this section the period or aggregate period for which a service is designated as experimental, any period before the service is introduced is to be disregarded.

(6) The person who designates a service as experimental or extends such a designation must--

(a) send a copy of the designation or extension to the Office of Rail Regulation; and

(b) publish notice of the designation or extension in two successive weeks--

(i) in a local newspaper circulating in the area affected by the designation or extension; and

(ii) in two national newspapers.

(7) Where--

(a) a service is designated as experimental or its designation is extended, and

(b) the service is to be provided otherwise than in satisfaction of requirements imposed by a franchise agreement,

the person designating must give notice of the designation or extension to the person who is to provide the service.

(8) For the purposes of subsection (6)(b)(i) the area affected by a designation, or by the extension of a designation, is the area in which is situated the line or station in relation to which the designation is or was made.

(9) For the purposes of subsection (6)(b)(ii) as it applies in relation to--

(a) a Scotland-only service, or

(b) a Wales-only service,

a newspaper which circulates generally in Scotland or, as the case may be, Wales is to be regarded as being a national newspaper.

(10) Where any railway passenger service is treated immediately before the commencement of this section as an experimental passenger service for the purposes of Part 1 of the 1993 Act--

(a) that service shall be treated as designated as experimental for the purposes of this Part; and

(b) the period for which it is treated as having been designated at that time shall be taken into account in determining the period or aggregate period for which it may be designated under this section.

37 Discontinuance of experimental passenger services

(1) Where--

(a) a railway funding authority is a party to a franchise agreement under which an experimental passenger service is provided,

(b) the person providing the service proposes to discontinue it after the requirement to provide it has come to an end, and

(c) that authority does not propose to secure the continued provision of the service,

that authority must give notice of the proposed discontinuance of the service.

(2) Where--

(a) an experimental passenger service is provided otherwise than in satisfaction of requirements imposed by a franchise agreement, and

(b) the person providing the service proposes to discontinue it,

that person must give notice of his proposal and must not discontinue the service before the end of the notice period.

(3) The notice required to be given under this section is a notice which--

(a) sets out the details of the proposed discontinuance; and

(b) is published in the required manner.

(4) A notice is published in the required manner if it is published, in two successive weeks--

(a) in a local newspaper circulating in the area affected by the proposal;

(b) in two national newspapers; and

(c) in such other manner as appears to the person giving the notice to be appropriate.

(5) A person giving notice of a proposed discontinuance under subsection (2) must send to the Office of Rail Regulation a copy of the notice published under subsection (3)(b).

(6) In this section "the notice period", in relation to a proposal to discontinue a service, means the period of six weeks after the notice of that proposal has been published in the required manner.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (4)(a) the area affected by a proposal to discontinue an experimental passenger service is the area in which is situated the line or station in relation to which the service is designated as experimental.

(8) For the purposes of subsection (4)(b) as it applies in relation to--

(a) a Scotland-only service, or

(b) a Wales-only service,

a newspaper which circulates generally in Scotland or, as the case may be, Wales is to be regarded as being a national newspaper.

38 Services, networks and stations excluded by order

(1) The national authority may by order--

(a) exclude a railway passenger service, or all railway passenger services of a specified description, from the application of any one or more of sections 22 to 24;

(b) exclude a network or part of a network, or all networks or parts of them of a specified description, from the application of any one or more of sections 26 to 28;

(c) exclude a station or part of a station, or all stations or parts them of a specified description, from the application of any one or more of sections 29 to 31.

(2) In subsection (1) "the national authority"--

(a) as respects a railway passenger service which is--

(i) a Scotland-only service, or

(ii) a cross-border service in relation to which so much of the funding as is provided by a railway funding authority is funding provided by the Scottish Ministers,

means those Ministers;

(b) as respects a network or station, or part of a network or station, that is wholly in Scotland, means the Scottish Ministers; and

(c) as respects any other railway passenger service, network or station, or part of a network or station, means the Secretary of State.

(3) An order under this section is subject to the negative resolution procedure.

(4) Where any order under section 49(2), (4) or (5) of the 1993 Act (exclusions from closure procedures under that Act) is in force immediately before the commencement of this section, that order shall have effect after the commencement of this section--

(a) in the case of an order under section 49(2), as an order under this section excluding the services to which it applies from sections 22 to 24 of this Act;

(b) in the case of an order under section 49(4), as an order under this section excluding the networks, or parts of networks, to which it applies from sections 26 to 28; and

(c) in the case of an order under section 49(5), as an order under this section excluding any stations, or parts of stations, to which it applies from sections 29 to 31.



Substitution services

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39 Quality contracts schemes in connection with service modifications

(1) After subsection (1) of section 124 of the 2000 Act insert--

" (1A) A Passenger Transport Authority, or a Passenger Transport Authority jointly with one or more other local transport authorities, may also make a quality contracts scheme covering the whole or part of their area or combined area if they are satisfied--

(a) that making a quality contracts scheme is an appropriate way of securing that the transport needs of the potential users of a relevant railway service that has been or is to be reduced or discontinued are met;

(b) that the making of the scheme will contribute, in an appropriate way, to meeting the transport needs of other persons living, working or studying in the localities served by that service;

(c) that the scheme is compatible with the local transport plan of the Passenger Transport Authority who make the scheme or (as the case may be) of each of the authorities who join in making the scheme; and

(d) that the scheme will meet the needs of the persons mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) in a way which is economic, efficient and effective.

(1B) A local transport authority may join in making a scheme under subsection (1A) by reference to the reduction or discontinuance of a railway passenger service only if--

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