Rail reforms risk repeating mistakes of the past, says IEA expert


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Christopher Snowdon quoted in The Sun

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Dr Richard Wellings quoted in the Independent

Tax and Fiscal Policy


Commenting on the publication of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, Dr Richard Wellings, Head of Transport at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“While the devil is in the detail, the reforms will potentially create a worst-of-all-worlds model which repeats many of the mistakes made during privatisation.

“The new industry structure will retain a high degree of complexity and fragmentation, keeping costs high for taxpayers, but at the same time undermine the benefits of competition.

“Rather than imposing an artificial structure, the government should leave it to the market to improve the railways’ efficiency.

“Train operators and other private firms should be free to take over the infrastructure, decide service levels and close loss-making lines, while the government’s main focus should be phasing out the vast subsidies to the sector.”

ENDS


Notes to editors

Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715942731

Dr Richard Wellings is available for further comment.




Further IEA reading on rail reform, click here





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