Energy and Environment

IEA calls for an end to rail subsidies and the abolition of Network Rail



Mark Littlewood calls on the government to embrace reform

Press Release

A response to the IMF analysis of the economy

Dr Richard Wellings comments on the McNulty Review

Following the release of the McNulty Review, Dr Richard Wellings, Deputy Editorial Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, says that the review fails to address the structural errors that exist in the rail industry.

“The McNulty review fails to tackle the fundamental problems facing Britain’s railways. Even if its proposals are enacted, gross inefficiencies will remain and taxpayers will still find themselves funding vast subsidies.

“As long as Network Rail and other individual railway firms remain in receipt of taxpayer-funded subsidies, there will be little incentive to drive down costs and to provide a more efficient service. It is right that passengers should pay a greater proportion of the cost of the services they use; but it is also right that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for services that are grossly inefficient and are used by only a small proportion of the population. Allowing rail operators to own the infrastructure could transform Britain’s rail network.

“The government must stop tweaking with a fundamentally flawed model and instead unshackle the railways, and the railway operators, from the dead hand of state control.”

Notes to editors

To arrange an interview with Dr Richard Wellings, IEA Deputy Editorial Director, please contact Stephanie Lis, Communications Officer, 020 7799 8900, [email protected].

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.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.