Office for National Statistics
The ONS classifies Wales and Borders rail operator now running under an emergency measures agreement
After reviewing its classification against international statistical guidelines, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has concluded that the Operator and Development Partner (the ODP) and the train operating company (the OpCo, also known as Transport for Wales Rail Services) responsible for the Wales and Borders rail network should be classified to the public sector for statistical purposes, after entering into an Emergency Measures Agreement (EMA) with the Welsh Government.
Under the EMA, normal franchise mechanisms have been amended, transferring almost all revenue and cost risk to the government. In addition, the ODP and the OpCo have had restrictions placed on their ability to borrow money and cannot make significant changes to fares or staffing levels without government agreement. This has led the ONS to conclude that public sector control exists over the ODP and the OpCo, in accordance with international statistical guidelines, and that they should be classified as public non-financial corporations with effect from 3 May 2020, the day the EMA came into force. As the EMA is temporary in nature, the ONS may review the classification status of the ODP and the OpCo again in the future if the EMA expires, or if it has been judged that the EMA has been amended materially.
Any organisation’s classification status is a statistical matter that does not have any direct implications in areas such as ownership, legal status, or management structure. Therefore, following a classification, the only direct change is how an organisation is accounted for in ONS official statistics. Accordingly, the ODP and the OpCo’s net borrowing and debt will be included in the relevant ONS public sector finances series and their workforces will be included in the public sector employment totals as soon as is possible.
Notes to Editors
- The letter sent from the ONS to the Welsh Government giving further details of the classification decision is available here.
- The companies affected by this classification decision are: Keolis Amey Wales Cymru Ltd (the ODP); and Keolis Amey Operations Ltd (the OpCo, also known as Transport for Wales Rail Services).
Media Relations Office: +44 (0)845 6041858
Emergency on-call: +44 (0)7867 906553
Latest News from
Office for National Statistics
Public services productivity review: ONS governance and contact arrangements08/08/2023 13:25:00
Following the recent announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking the National Statistician, Sir Ian Diamond, to review how we can improve the way public service productivity is measured, the Office for National Statistics has confirmed the arrangements for the governance of the review.
“Clear commitment” to inclusion sees ONS retain status as Disability Confident Leader10/07/2023 13:15:00
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) retains accreditation as a Disability Confident Leader for its inclusive approach towards disabled colleagues.
Have your say on the future of population and migration statistics30/06/2023 10:20:00
A public consultation has begun, which will help shape the future of population and migration statistics.
OBE a “mindblowing” honour for Newport IT leader20/06/2023 13:25:00
Having worked her way up from the post room at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to become the organisation's Deputy Director for Corporate IT and Services, Ceinwen Blake epitomises hard work and dedication, and has been awarded an OBE as part of the King's Birthday Honours.
ONS begin UK-wide interim survey to monitor COVID-19 and other respiratory infections04/05/2023 16:15:00
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is launching a new UK-wide study on the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and other respiratory infections.
Reappointment of Professor Sir Ian Diamond as National Statistician28/03/2023 09:25:00
His Majesty the King, on the advice of the Prime Minister, has appointed Professor Sir Ian Diamond FBA FRSE FAcSS for a second term as National Statistician, following an open competition, for a period of five years beginning on 1 April 2023.
The Office for National Statistics announces 2023 “Basket of goods and services"15/03/2023 10:25:00
The Office for National Statistics announces 2023 "Basket of goods and services".
Census 2021 data show overall health improves since 201119/01/2023 16:15:00
The latest findings from Census 2021 show the proportion of people who reported to be in very good health increased over the previous decade.