IEA - Rail sector needs radical reform to address high fares

3 Jan 2019 08:58 AM

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:

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Head of Communications: nchesterfield@iea.org.uk or 07791 390 268

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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