Latest Rail News

11.09.12

Passengers in the east subsidising other railway lines

An Ipswich MP is calling for increased investment in the rail network in the east, since he says passengers in the region are subsidising lines in other parts of England.

Ben Gummer MP has obtained figures which show that passengers using railways in the east are paying towards Greater Anglia’s franchise payments through their fares. Part of this is given out to other loss-making lines to help keep fares down elsewhere.

For a passenger buying a return ticket from Norwich to London, £10.35 will go to subsidise another rail company. An annual ticket holder will pay £2,689 in subsidies.

Gummer told the BBC: “We’re paying an enormous amount of money out of our rail tickets for other users to have discounted fares. I don’t think that’s on when we’re not getting the infrastructure investment which other parts of the country are getting.

“How can the Government justify giving 3.6p to London Midland for every passenger kilometre travelled, when its trains are on average 14 years younger than ours?

“How can the Government explain why it is so generous with East Anglia rail users’ money when our own trains are the most overcrowded in the country at peak times, after those of train companies operating between Heathrow and Gatwick airports?”

Gummer now intends to raise the issue with ministers.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. BotMultichill 

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