Efficient provision of transport infrastructure is critical to economic growth. The
long asset lives of much transport infrastructure indicates governance through regulation,
rather than through contract or public ownership. This can ensure predictability in
long-term relationships whilst preserving some flexibility to deal with changes in
external circumstances.The transparency created by a fully independent regulator is
invaluable for ensuring sufficient investment is forthcoming, while maintaining reasonable
conditions for user access. Discussion at the Roundtable focussed on how to achieve
effective independent regulation and how to reconcile independence with the legitimate
control of policy by the executive part of government.Independent regulation is not
seen as a universal default governance arrangement. Much of the discussion focused
on when to regulate and when to rely on competition, even if imperfect, to drive efficiency.
The discussions underscored that there are opportunities to improve performance significantly
in the aviation, rail and road sectors, by learning from successful experience in
improving governance structures in a range of countries.