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Regulatory Policy Manager / Economist


Birmingham, West Midlands : Bristol, South West : Glasgow, Scotland : London : Manchester, North West : York, Yorkshire and the Humber


About the job

Job description

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain's railways and the independent monitor of Highways England. We are here to ensure the network operates safely and reliably and provides value for taxpayers and customers.

The rail network plays a vital economic and social role. This is a unique opportunity for you to improve how the railways work and to make a positive difference to the experience of over 1.7 billion passengers and to the movement of around 80 million tonnes of goods and raw materials each year.

This is an exciting and diverse role that will offer you the opportunity to develop policy, lead challenging analytical work and design and implement incentive mechanisms, working closely with engineering, legal, regulation and competition experts as well as governments and the wider rail industry. It is also an exciting and challenging time to join the rail industry, as we seek to adapt our regulation to support continued growth of the network and help meet the many potential changes on the horizon.

About the role:

You will join the ORR’s Economics team in the Railway Markets and Economics (RME) directorate. Our team works on a diverse range of economic and policy issues, concerned both with leading development of rail policy and providing specialist advice. Much of this team’s work is directed at the economic regulation of Great Britain’s national rail network.

Your work will focus on the frameworks in which we regulate Network Rail and other infrastructure managers. This will include:

- adapting our regulation to focus on the performance of local business units (‘routes’) to reflect our new and novel approach to regulating Network Rail, which we have recently developed through our PR18 determination;
- developing our regulation of Network Rail’s national, central function that oversees and coordinates activities across the network, such as creating timetables (‘the System Operator’); and
- developing the regulatory frameworks for new parts of the rail network owned by other parties, such as High Speed 2 (HS2, the proposed high-speed rail line from London to Manchester and Leeds), the Channel Tunnel, HS1, and Crossrail. The development of HS2 may, in particular, pose wider issues for the regulation of the rail network that we will need to consider.

You will also have the opportunity to work closely with colleagues in the rest of the Economics teams, whose work focuses on the design of price mechanisms, the analysis of user behaviour and the application of econometric analysis to understand the drivers of infrastructure costs, efficiency and quality.

Reflecting the flexible manner in which our team works, there is an opportunity for your areas of responsibility to change over time, including to support your on-going professional development. However, we anticipate that your key responsibilities would be to:

• contribute to the development of our framework for regulating Network Rail at the route level by providing expert economic and policy advice. In the coming months, this is likely to include consideration of how the regulatory framework for monitoring and reporting on Network Rail’s performance can make most effective use of reputational incentives and behavioural economics;
• lead aspects on the regulation of the System Operator, including monitoring its performance and escalating issues, as necessary;
• take forward aspects of the regulatory regime to support and incentivise collaborative working between Network Rail and its stakeholders;
• develop key aspects of our policy for third party investment in the railway including the regulatory regime for non-Network Rail owned infrastructure, and applying this policy to HS2;
• work with staff, often in a multidisciplinary team drawn from across the organisation, on a variety of projects and initiatives;
• be an active member of the Economics team, including being involved in team development and representing the team in pan-ORR activities. You may also expected to line manager a member of the team; and/or
• represent ORR at meetings with stakeholders, other regulators and government. This will include giving presentations explaining and testing our policies.

You will be expected to work flexibly across the teams and to take advantage of opportunities to meet challenges in new areas as business needs develop.

Therefore, the above description of the job may be subject to review, and is to provide you with guidelines within which you would work. Other duties appropriate to the grade may be assigned from time to time.

About you:

This role would suit someone with either background in regulatory economics and/or policy development. The ability to work constructively with people of different disciplines is important, as is the ability to write and present clearly and persuasively. The post holder will be expected to be able to work independently, manage pieces of work effectively to agreed timescales and engage with a wide range of stakeholders.


• Knowledge, understanding of and interest in public policy and/or regulatory and/or competition economics; and
• Experience of having worked on policy. This could have been gained from another government department or economic regulator, or a regulated business.

It would also be desirable (but not essential) to have experience in the regulation of infrastructure management and related fields.

Please click APPLY to see the Candidate Information Pack for further details on the role and selection process.