Latest Rail News

05.10.12

Revenue support for train operating companies reaches £451m

Rail franchises are receiving £451m in financial support, new figures show. This represents an increase of over 50% in the past two years, from £291m in 2009-10.

The revenue support system sees money paid back to operators from the Government. The latest increase was revealed in a written answer to Liberal Democrat peer Lord Bradshaw’s parliamentary question.

Rail union RMT has attacked the rise, and said it reinforces the need for renationalisation of the railways.

The franchises receiving revenue support are: FGW, Virgin West Coast, FCC, South Eastern, South West trains, East Midland and Cross Country. Southern will enter revenue support from September 20, 2013.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “The expensive shambles of rail franchising extends well beyond the fiasco on the West Coast mainline as these figures show that a majority of the UK’s rail routes will soon be on corporate welfare due to a mixture of bogus train operator projections and government and departmental incompetence.

“Hundreds of millions of pounds that could go towards improving our railways or keeping down fares is being soaked up by this racket which is lining the pockets of the private rail companies at taxpayers’ expense.

“The case for renationalisation of the railways to end this state sponsored rip-off is now overwhelming.”

But a DfT spokesperson said: “Revenue share and support mechanisms are standard in all rail contracts which allows the Government and the train companies to share the benefits and risks of operating services.”

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