Tony Lodge writes to the Telegraph on Grayling's rail reforms

Tony Lodge wrote to the Telegraph on Grayling’s rail reforms on 9 December 2016

Sir- Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, is right to strip Network Rail of its monopoly infrastructure role (report, December 6), but it is regrettable he has not called for more on-track train competition.

The 1992 white paper, which led to railway privatisation, promised “competition, efficiency and a wider choice of services” yet only one main line has genuine competition.

A report by the Centre for Policy Studies showed that East Coast Main Line passenger journeys increased by 42 per cent at stations with competition between the franchise and non-subsidised open-access train operators, compared with 27% for those without. Revenue rose by 57% where competition occurred, compared with 48% where it didn’t, while fares increased by 11% at stations with competition- against 19% at those without.

The Competition and Markets Authority says more on track competition is needed. Let us hope the Transport Secretary will support policies to end the ‘railopolies’ hiking fares without fear of the passengers voting with their feet.

Tony Lodge

Research Fellow

Centre for Policy Studies

London SW1

Date Added: Friday 9th December 2016