Effective Institutional Structures for New Railway Regime
P Wright, Trowers and Hamlins, UK
There are effectively three major themes running through reforms of institutional structures for railway regimes. These are as follows:- 1. A more intensive and sustained input from local communities and local authorities into transport planning needs as well as being funding conduits for new regional and light rail schemes.
This trend will be illustrated by outlining the role of the passenger transport executives, as local authorities and Transport for London in transport schemes in Great Britain as well as other European countries where funding is directed straight to regional entities rather than through the State owned rail operator. 2. The creation of stand-alone railway authorities as a single stop shop for the purpose of procuring major railway infrastructure projects. This process is often aligned with also streamlining the planning and works order process.
To illustrate this trend there will be an analysis and review of the creation and role of the Railway Infrastructure Procurement Agency in Ireland and the legislation creating it, as well as complimentary legislation to facilitate the planning of and procurement of rail projects on a PPP basis in Ireland. This will be compared to structural arrangements in the United Kingdom, where there are a plethora of bodies involved in approving and taking forward a major rail project. A case in point will be that of the Thames Link 2000 scheme. 3. The third trend is more towards more generic legislation (such as the introduction of Concession laws), rather than using a separate piece of legislation for each particular scheme (as in the UK, through the Hybrid Bill procedure). 4. Various Irish initiatives will also be considered in the context of what other measures have been taken by the Irish State to facilitate and streamline the procurement of rail projects including resolving any vires issues as well as the ability of the State Agencies to enter into public private partnerships with the private sector for the purposes of delivery and operating railway infrastructure. Proposed reforms in Greece will also be considered as will the new infrastructure laws recently passed in Italy to facilitate major infrastructure projects.
The paper will be conclude by looking at what legislate and initiatives can be taken across Europe through the European Union in relation to working out standard structural models for railway regimes to remove delay and reduce cost in operating rail infrastructure.
A model law for railways concessions will be presented with the object of: a. avoiding lengthy concession contracts; b. facilitating a speedy planning decision; c. Enabling the State to readily procure and operate rail infrastructure through PPP structures; and d. Remove any statutory (viries) issues.
Association for European Transport