We are working towards a thorough understanding of costs and revenues at a national and local level. This will inform the strategic investment decisions that GBR makes in the future, improving financial decision making to make the most efficient use of spending.
The railways are a public service, paid for by taxpayers and passengers. The Plan for Rail states that Great British Railways (GBR) will be accountable for whole-industry financial management. A whole-industry view will help us identify efficiencies and realise benefits. It will also promote more joined up business decisions to better serve customers and taxpayers.
A more financially sustainable railway is essential to national prosperity. Savings of £1.5 billion a year are possible and needed to make rail travel more affordable for the public.
We are working hard to put the people and systems in place that will enable GBR to manage whole-industry costs and revenue. Our Business Planning & Financial Management (BP&FM) team are already driving efficiencies.
Developing a whole-industry financial view
Our team has already developed consolidated business plans to 2024 as well as producing a “virtual control centre” enabling us to track savings in real time, ensuring the railway is delivering best value. Our work with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Network Rail is ongoing. We are continuing to improve our business planning processes and embed our reporting and monitoring of the industry reform efficiency programme.
Enabling more informed decisions to benefit everyone
Our current work before Great British Railways is set up is about enabling DfT, Network Rail and the train operating companies to make more informed decisions. A whole-industry financial view will support:
- More cost-effective use of the rail network.
- Aligned business plans that allow for more efficient delivery.
- Better operational decision making.
- Assurance and visibility of progress on delivery of the £1.5bn reform efficiency savings.
- Greater stakeholder confidence.
The BP&FM journey to GBR Day 1
We are accountable for the delivery of frameworks, guidance, tools and reports, and assurance of data. We have been successful in gaining the confidence of DfT and industry partners and we are now delivering key improvements to planning and financial reporting. We are also influencing decision-making, including:
- TOC and Network Rail annual business planning processes. These improvements will deliver more consistent and aligned passenger services and infrastructure plans. Regional Efficiency Boards (REBs) can then compare TOC and Network Rail plans and unlock benefits through simpler, better business planning.
- The HLOS (High Level Output Specification) and SoFA (Statement of Funds Available), inform our leadership of the £1.5bn efficiency programme. The creation of a virtual contol centre and other reporting tools help us to keep track of these efficiencies in real time. This will be through improvements to efficiency reporting.
- Leading on the creation of a single industry profit and loss account, in support of devolved decision making within the GBR regions. We are engaging with stakeholders and industry via specialist forums to deliver on this.
- DfT’s third round of NRCs (National Rail Contracts) and future PSCs (Passenger Service Contracts) development. We will provide supporting analysis to inform DfT business cases.
- Designing the GBR finance operating model, which will identify key finance processes and policies, organisation, governance, and systems. This will feed the wider GBR Day 1 activity led by GBRTT’s Strategic Planning Team.
Setting and maintaining the financial framework including the budgets and control environment for our stewardship of the £205m funding highlighted in the Spending Review (SR21) to support the creation of GBR.