Passengers paying for more of the railway’s running expenses

Marion Dakers
PASSENGERS are now paying for almost 60 per cent of the running costs of Britain’s railways, as the government cuts its share of the bill and more Brits take the train.

Tickets generated £7.7bn across the rail network in 2012-13, up 3.6 per cent in real terms, the industry watchdog said today. The state cut its funding by 4.2 per cent to £4bn, while parking fees and other charges brought in £1.3bn.

New figures show that some London-bound routes, such as South West, East Coast and C2C, could fund themselves almost entirely from fares, while franchises in more rural areas or with recent upgrades have up to 69 per cent of costs met by the state. Total running costs are broadly steady, even with passenger numbers up 10 per cent in the past two years.

“Passengers are increasingly the main funder of the railways,” said Richard Price, chief executive of the Office of Rail Regulation.