An announcement has been made by the Office of Rail and Road stating that if operators want to continue to use HS1 then they will be required to pay £26m each year in order to preserve the assets.
There are 67 miles of high-speed track operated by HS1, connecting London to the Channel Tunnel. However, in order to maintain the railways and the fleet, it has been proposed that £26m will have to be paid each year to do so.
The ORR carried out analysis under its five-year review and it found that costs in the future would be higher due to the fact that assets will be older and will require frequent work.
Despite this, the figure of £26m is £9m less than HS1 had originally requested, with the ORR choosing to opt for the lower figure. This was to ensure that they could call the request as sufficient.
The public will have access to the Draft Determination proposal which will be available to them until November 11. The final determination of bill for the next year will then be announced in January.
There is an agreement in place whereby HS1 will operate HS1 trains until the end of 2040. However, it has made a number of proposals and the ORR are believed to have accepted many of them, making recommendations as to how their assets should be managed. This cover the likes of the efficiency of the supply chain as well as the way in which it approached research and development.
While the public consultation takes place, stakeholders will be asked for their opinions in relation to the considerations that have been recommended. The chief executive of the ORR, John Larkinson has said that the HS1 is a valuable public asset but their role is to deliver independent assurance that HS1 assets can be maintained to a high level of kept in good condition at a cost that is as low as possible.
This is vital as it ensures that operators and therefore passengers, as well as freight users, can benefit from a good deal now without the risk of penalising future generations.