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Passengers’ share of rail costs up to 60%
From the Financial Times of Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:59:52 GMT
Government pays $4bn of the $12.3bn cost of running the railways

Government pays $4bn of the $12.3bn cost of running the railways

Passengers are funding a bigger share of the cost of running Britain’s railways as the proportion the government puts in shrinks.

Ticket sales rose almost 4 per cent to £7.7bn as more people took the train in 2012-13.

Their fares now cover almost 60 per cent of railway costs, according to the rail watchdog.

At the same time government funding fell a similar proportion, to £4bn of the total £12.3bn cost.

There was wide variation in the amount of government funding, with England getting £2.19 per passenger journey, Scotland receiving £7.60 per journey and Wales £9.33.

Most of the amount made through ticket sales came from unregulated fares, which tend not to be on the busy commuter routes into cities, and amounted to £5bn, said the Office of Rail Regulation. The ORR has been producing a report into the rail industry’s finances for the past three years.

“Passengers are increasingly the main funder of the railways and must be central to developing its plans for the future,” said Richard Price, chief executive of the rail watchdog.

James MacColl, campaigns director of lobby group, the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Passengers are contributing a record amount to our railways with income from fares forecast to outstrip total running costs over the next parliament.”

“The way to keep our railways growing is to permanently end annual above-inflation fares hikes, invest in getting more people on to the network with new stations and give passengers a bigger say in how services are run.”

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