The decision follows a full public consultation on ORR’s competition assessment and the draft market reference. Following careful consideration of consultation responses, ORR remains of the view that certain market features are limiting competition and have the potential to lead to higher prices and a poorer quality of service than would otherwise be the case in a more competitive environment.

ORR believes that a reference to the CC is an appropriate and proportionate response in the light of the competition concerns it has identified, especially given the size and importance of these markets to the UK rail industry and the powers available to the CC to effect any remedy.

This is the first time that a sectoral regulator has used its concurrent powers under the Enterprise Act to make a market investigation reference to the Competition Commission.