Part 1: Challenges and dynamics of rail regulation with the ORR

Part 1: Challenges and dynamics of rail regulation with the ORR - Steer



PodcastDuration 40m

In this special two-part episode of ‘Voices of the Industry’, we are joined by John Larkinson, the CEO of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

In part one of this insightful conversation, John walks us through the intricacies of the ORR’s differing roles for health and safety and economic regulation within Britain’s strategic road and rail network. Facing challenges like inflation, dramatically changed usage of the network, decarbonisation aspirations and ongoing industrial action, the ORR has an influential role to play as the transport sector steers its way through these rapidly changing times.

Explore the history, current challenges, and exciting potential for the monitoring and regulation of our strategic transport network as we discuss investment, Brexit, and the financial implications of ageing core infrastructure.

Tune in to Part 2, where we discuss specific projects, decisions, and future challenges that impact rail infrastructure. Listen now - ‘Part 2: Projects, decisions, and future challenges with ORR’.

Listen to part one


Key takeaways

  • Explore how the ORR manages the complex landscape of health and safety and economic regulation amid challenges like inflation, post-COVID passenger declines, and ongoing industrial action.

  • Gain insights into the evolving role of the ORR, from its history to the present day. 

  • Delve into the financial implications of ageing core infrastructure within the rail industry.

  • Discover the potential for innovation and positive change in rail regulation.


  • John Larkinson, a seasoned leader in the rail industry, John took the helm at the Office of Rail and Road in 2021, drawing on over 20 years of experience. From pioneering network regulation to safeguarding consumer interests, his expertise fuels ORR's mission to champion rail and road users. Whether ensuring fair access, holding Network Rail accountable, or analysing industry finances, John's passion for transportation shines through, driving efficient performance and safety across the rails and roads.


Related topics: RailPolicy, strategy & regulation, SustainabilityTechnology and digitalUrban transport.


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