Plans are underway for the Government to cap rail fare increases in a bid to reduce the cost of railways in the UK.
A study revealed last year that inefficiency surrounding the rail industry is costing taxpayers and passengers who use trains £3.5 billion-a-year.
In an effort to change the railways, Transport Secretary Justine Greening has outlined how the industry will work towards reducing the £3.5 billion gap by 2019. The savings made from this will go towards stopping any fare increases and to create better infrastructure. Currently commuters are unhappy at the increase in costs of using railways as a method of transport to work.
Other areas that will be looked at will be expanding smart ticketing technology so that passengers can use the oyster style payment method. Improvements in live travel information and providing better levels of service for passengers will also be addressed. Funding more carriages to meet passenger capacity will be looked at in order to create more jobs.
Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation are on track to make the savings that have been put forward. It is expected that £1.2 billion-a-year will be saved by 2014 and £1.8 billion-a-year by 2019.
Along with the new plans which will be put into place over the next couple of years, Network Rail will also be giving company members more say on board and remuneration decisions for employees.
Justine Greening spoke of the new plans saying: “Inefficiency and waste in the railways is costing hard-pressed fare payers and taxpayer’s £3.5bn-a-year and I will no longer allow them to be lumbered with this unnecessary burden.
“We are setting out a roadmap for action alongside the industry to root out inefficiency so we can deliver real value-for-money that ends inflation-busting fare rises once and for all.”
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By Amanda Bainbridge