Briefing: the true cost of rail subsidies

Key findings

  • Forecasts indicate that rail services will be subsidised by £11 billion in the financial year 2022-23.

  • The average rail fare in 2022-23 will be £6.12 per journey. An additional £7.51 in subsidy is required to make up the full cost of that journey.

  • Increases in rail sector pay over and above that recommended by the independent pay review body, will be met by taxpayers, not the rail operating companies or rail users.

  • Taxpayer subsidies to the rail industry were running at £4.7billion per annum in 2018-19 before the effects of covid. The taxpayer support required due to reduced passenger numbers will total £48.7billion in the 4 years 2019-20 to 2022-23.



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