The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has announced that even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the legal requirements designed to promote common safety and technical principles across all EU railways must still be met by UK rail companies and suppliers. Anna Tobin reports
The body that governs the UK rail industry, the RSSB, has ruled that all the related UK rail safety and technical requirements that stem from EU law, should still apply during a period of transition should a deal be done. While, in a no-deal scenario these regulations will be adapted to work in the UK as domestic legislation, published as National Technical Specification Notices (NTSNs) by the Secretary of State for Transport.
Consequently, Network Rail and other mainline firms, train, and freight-operating companies, rolling-stock leasers, and suppliers should all plan to continue to use relevant cross-industry standards – including Railway Group Standards, Rail Industry Standards and the Rule Book – after the UK exits the EU.
“We have been working very closely with the Department for Transport over the past year to ensure that requirements derived from the EU framework are legally fit for purpose for application in the UK with workable solutions in place, even in a potential ‘no deal’ scenario,” explained the RSSB’s director of standards, Tom Lee. “We want to ensure that day one post-Brexit, the UK standards framework is suitably aligned to the EU for immediate continuity and is legally robust, whilst providing for possible future divergence, if beneficial.’