Commuters could save money, and even be able to sit down, if some of the UK’s railways were turned into bus routes instead, according to a new report by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
In the report named “Paving Over the Tracks: A better use of Britain’s railways?” authors Paul Withrington and Richard Wellings argue that ticket prices could be reduced by up to 40 per cent due to lower infrastructure costs, and commuters would be able to have a seat, if rules around transport infrastructure were liberalised and train lines were replaced with express coachways instead.
The IEA does not forsee increases in travel time under its plans, and even predicts that direct bus routes could mean that some door-to-door journey times from suburbs and villages are reduced.
Commenting on the report, head of transport at the IEA Richard Wellings said: “Ongoing interference by politicians in the rail industry has led to everyone getting a raw deal. Passengers face increasingly expensive fares only to fight their way on to trains during peak times and taxpayers continue to prop up an industry whose importance to the country is disproportionally small relative to the level of resources it receives.”