Commenting on today’s announcement that regulated rail fares will rise by an average of 4.1% next year, Dr Richard Wellings, Head of Transport at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
“Commuters are understandably angry about the latest round of fare increases, but the reality is most journeys will remain heavily subsidised by the taxpayer. It is right that passengers should pay a higher proportion of rail industry costs and on some routes higher fare rises are justified.
“In the longer term, the government should focus on reforming the rail industry to improve the efficiency of the network. Removing unnecessary layers of bureaucracy would help reduce the upward pressure on both subsidies and fares.
“Ministers should also cancel uneconomic rail investment schemes like HS2 that deliver few benefits but add substantially to the burden on taxpayers and rail users.”
Notes to editors:
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