Reducing taxpayer subsidies should be the main focus of rail policy

Rail policy needs radical reform

 

Commenting on today's above-inflation rail fare increases, Dr Richard Wellings, Head of Transport at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 



"While the increase in fares will have a significant impact on the cost of commuting by train, it is right that passengers should contribute more to the cost of running the railways.
 


"It is deeply unfair that taxpayers are currently forced to subsidise the rail industry to the tune of £6 billion per year. Most taxpayers rarely travel by train. 
 


"In the longer term, the government should reform the rail sector to reduce the burden on taxpayers and passengers. This means reducing industry costs by removing unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and cancelling loss-making projects such as High Speed 2."
 

Notes to editors

To arrange an interview with an IEA spokesperson, please contact Stephanie Lis, Communications Officer: 0207 799 8900 or 07766 221 268.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.



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