Image courtesy of Liberal Democrats via Flickr / Creative Commons Licence
Image courtesy of Liberal Democrats via Flickr / Creative Commons Licence

Network Rail is going to be subject to Freedom of Information laws, after a change of opinion from the government.

The organisation became a fully owned public body today and in a tweet the Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Simon Hughes, who has Freedom of Information in his portfolio, said it will be included in the Act.

Campaigners have been pushing for the rail body to become subject for the Act for many years.

Earlier this month it appeared that David Cameron was due to block Network Rail from being included in the Act. However it appears he has gone back on this now.

The Framework Agreement for Network Rail, which has been produced by the Department for Transport also says that the rail body will be included under the Act:

“The Government and Network Rail have agreed that Network Rail will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to its public functions. This requires secondary legislation, which the Government will be bringing forward at the next opportunity.”

The body, who has been trying to comply with the spirit of the Act for some time now, will require secondary legislation to be incorporated into the Act’s scope.

I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.


  1. There are many questions to be asked as it is felt that the lack of clarity is exploited by certain Train Operators to cover their own transgressions. In some cases to justify dismissal in one instance alone is their use of Delta Rail Ambimon Noise and Vibration testing at reduced Network Rail imposed line speeds (50 vs 75MPH) to sanction rough trackwork between Leeds to Huddersfield on the Transpennine Leeds to Manchester route. Normal enquiries fail to produce a response. One of many such questions awaiting realistic reply.

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