Government must reform rail industry to lower ticket prices


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IEA comments on today's rail fare increases

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

“The British rail industry is a hideously complex and inefficient structure. With different companies owning the tracks and the trains, it is no surprise that we keep seeing high costs trickling down to consumers.

“However, it is deeply unfair that taxpayers are forced to subsidise rail travel at a cost of around £6 billion per annum when most taxpayers rarely travel by train. Passengers should, therefore, contribute more towards the running costs of railways.

“The burden on both taxpayers and passengers could be reduced by reforming the rail sector. Scrapping wasteful projects and removing unnecessary layers of bureaucracy would go a long way to reducing the costs of rail travel.”

Notes to editors:

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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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