The cost of railways is hugely unfair to taxpayers

Dr Richard Wellings speaks to BBC Radio Merseyside's Simon Hoban

Dr. Richard Wellings discusses the West Coast train deal. He said that companies take a gamble that they'll have strong growth and taxpayers underwrite this risk ensuring the companies don't make huge losses. The costs are thus socialised and the taxpayer funds the railways to the tune of £5bn a year even though most don't use the trains. 

Railways account for 8% of transport in the UK. Most taxpayers rarely use the train so huge costs to them are deeply unfair. Moreover, the average rail commuter is also wealthier than the average person.After privatisation lots of complexity was added to the system. Simplifying the entire system is the answer. reduce red tape.

He argued that we need to go back to vertical integration where the same company owns both track and train. Nationalisation is not the answer; railways are already extremely politicised under the privatised franchise system.

Listen here. Segment starts at 40:45.

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