The cost of a peak-time single ticket from London to Manchester has increased by 238 per cent, from £50 to £169 – three times the rate of inflation during the period since the railways were privatised.

Figures released today, the 25th anniversary of the legislation that privatised British Rail receiving Royal Assent, show the full cost of privatisation for both passengers and the taxpayer.

Government direct subsidy of the railways is around £5 billion per year, an increase of over 200% since privatisation

An additional £4.1 billion per year of public money is pumped into the railways as increased debt for Network Rail

Fares across all operators are 20% higher in real terms than they were in January 1995.

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on the catastrophic failure of rail privatisation 25 years on, said:

“Twenty-five years on it’s clear that rail privatisation has been a catastrophic failure, with the taxpayer putting in even more money to the privatised system than when it was nationalised.

“Labour will take our railways into public ownership to improve services and cap fares, running them in the interest of passengers, not for private profit.”

However the Conservatives say privatisation had “improved the railways for passengers and taxpayers”.

Transport minister Jo Johnson said: “Passenger journeys have now doubled and investment is at record levels. But we know that for some passengers, they aren’t getting the service they deserve. That’s why we’ve launched a sweeping review, to make sure trains arrive on time, and that fares are value for money.


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