Rail companies will run trains on same routes from April in a bid to increase competition and drive down fares

Rail companies will run trains on same routes from April in a bid to increase competition and drive down fares

December 18, 2018

Some experts say the move might end up dramatically shaking-up the industry – resembling how the explosion of budget airlines revolutionised air travel.

The changes are being introduced to the rail network from April, and will allow different operators to compete against each other for passengers on the same sections of line.

Bosses at the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) regulator hope the new system may cut fares, increase train numbers, and encourage innovation and better quality services.

Franchise operators with government contracts could end up competing directly against “open-access” operators, which would have to pay a bigger share of the costs for the railway’s upkeep in return.

And the Competition and Markets Authority backed the move – suggesting that allowing open-access operators on the railways would have a similar impact to the one seen in the airline industry.

 

But ORR’s senior manager for competition economics, Beth Tasker, warned that operators were likely to cherry-pick only the most profitable routes.
She added: “In the GB rail market, where there is a lot of public subsidy of franchised services, this would result in the cost of the railway to government going up.

“Our policy must take this into account.”

Rail fares are due to rise by an average of 3.1 per cent in the New Year.

  • GOT a story? Ring The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or email [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article