27 July 2006
ORR's decision upheld in East Coast case
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) today welcomed the judgment of Mr
Justice Sullivan rejecting the challenge by Great North Eastern Railway
Limited (GNER) to ORR's decision of 23 March 2006 to approve access
rights for open access operators on the East Coast Main Line.
The case centred round GNER's claims that the access charging regime
contravenes regulations implementing EU rail directives by
discriminating between franchise operators and open access operators,
and amounts to an unlawful grant of state aid to open access operators.
Chris Bolt, ORR Chairman, said:
"We are pleased that our decision has been upheld. It means that Grand
Central can continue with its preparations to run new services between
London and Sunderland, and Hull Trains can continue to run its
additional service between London and Hull."
ORR's decision also said that it was minded to approve access rights
for GNER to run additional services to Leeds if further work found that
there was sufficient capacity. ORR expects to make a decision on this