Government rightly influences the level of rail fares

Funding for the running of the railway comes from two sources – passengers and taxpayers.

Our railway receives less public funding for day-to-day operations than any other major European railway – meaning passengers pay more of the cost of running trains. This means money from the taxpayer and the private sector can be invested to improve the network.

The government has said it would like fares to rise in line with a lower measure of inflation. If government decides this, it would be welcomed by passengers and we would support such a change. We are ready to work with all parts of the rail industry to improve value for money for our customers.

Given rail is a vital public service, politicians rightly determine the balance between these two groups.

Over time, successive governments decided that the money raised from farepayers, rather than taxpayers, should cover as much as possible of the cost of running the railway day-to-day.

This means fares have gone up with passengers paying more, keeping taxpayer support to run the railway down.

Government directly influences changes to around 45% of fares which are regulated, including season tickets. The rest are heavily influenced by the payments train companies make to government.

Balance of financials



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