The risk is that the government decides on a different set-up for market regulation of the rail sector, including the scope of the main rail network, HSL South, the approach to open access and the position of NS Stations after 2024, which would affect NS’s business operations and put pressure on the performance delivered to passengers. The government minister responsible for Infrastructure and Water Management has announced that a decision on the market regulation of the rail sector after 2024 will be taken in mid-2020.
The coalition agreement contains several intentions regarding the regulation of the railways that might affect NS. For example, the government is investigating the possible decentralisation of four railway lines. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has also announced a number of studies that should help it decide on the regulation of the rail sector. For example, it will be looking at the ownership and operation of stations and the study of HSL South that is being conducted, as well as to open access and a level playing field. The outcomes of the midterm review will also be taken into account.
Various improvement programmes are being implemented within NS. Their effects are evident in improved performance, both in train services and in improvements in and around the stations. NS is also on schedule for achieving its performance agreements. However, performance on HSL South is disappointing, due in part to the complexity of the interplay between the infrastructure and rolling stock. Furthermore, NS is working continuously on improving its services to passengers. NS is cooperating with the ministry’s preparatory studies for the decision on market regulation of the rail sector after 2024.
Risk control trend
Uncertainty concerning market regulation remains as great as ever. NS is committed to ensuring that it can continue delivering a good level of performance.