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Author Topic: ORR Calls For Code Of Practice For Real Time Information Access  (Read 4463 times)
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« on: December 01, 2009, 18:19:31 »

From ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about):

Regulator calls for publication of a code of practice for access to real time train information

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is calling on the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC» (Association of Train Operating Companies See - here)) and its subsidiary National Rail Enquiries to publish a code of practice for access to its database of real time train information.

The regulator wants to see a code to encourage a competitive market in the provision of live train information services to passengers in place by the end of February 2010.

The call for a code of practice follows an investigation launched by ORR in June 2009. ORR did not find that ATOC had infringed competition rules, however the investigation did reveal that any company wanting to provide live train information to passengers has no alternative but to deal with ATOC. As the sole controller of live passenger information, ATOC has a special responsibility to avoid distorting the market in a way that will prejudice the interests of passengers.

ORR believes that it is in the industry^s best interests for ATOC to encourage new ideas and actively foster an environment in which firms can bring new services to market. A code has an important part to play in this.

ORR chief executive Bill Emery said:

^I want to make it clear that as a regulator with a committed focus on passenger needs, we will take action when we believe that the behaviour of a company is harming passengers.

^We are particularly keen to ensure that the industry remains open to third parties who want to invest, to inject new ideas and new ways of doing things, to innovate and ultimately to expand the products and technology available to consumers. I want to see ATOC leading the way in real time train information, and a code of practice will support this aim.^

ATOC has indicated that it can see significant benefits to making its processes and criteria public in order to demonstrate its openness to new ideas and technologies and also to provide more certainty to third parties. ATOC is now actively engaging with ORR in the drafting of the code and is keen to ensure that it addresses all of the regulator^s concerns.

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