Rail sector needs radical reform to address high fares


Energy and Environment

Christopher Snowdon comments on plans to expand carrier bag charges to corner shops

In the Media

Dr Richard Wellings appears on BBC Radio 5 Live

IEA reacts to latest rail fare rise

Commenting on the rise of rail fares this year, Dr Richard Wellings, Head of Transport at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“If rail fares were not raised, taxpayers would be forced to pay even more to subsidise the rail industry. Their annual bill is already an astounding £6.4 billion. It would be deeply unfair to increase this further, especially when the vast majority of taxpayers rarely travel by train.

“In the longer term, the government should address high industry costs by reforming the sector to improve its efficiency. Removing unnecessary bureaucracy and complexity would reduce upward pressure on both subsidies and fares. Ministers should also cancel uneconomic schemes such as HS2 that add to the burden on taxpayers and rail users.”
Notes to editors:

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For IEA research on railways click here.

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 and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

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