Date of this Version
Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Spring/Summer 2014, Volume 15, Number 1.
The following report appeared recently in the British media regarding the “privatization” movement:
UK rail passengers pay the price of privatization
Rail privatization has led to the UK having the most expensive fares in Europe, serious overcrowding and train operating companies entirely reliant on public subsidies, according to a study.
Long distance, day return and season tickets are all about twice the price of similar tickets in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which have publicly-run rail systems, the study for the TUC [Trade Unions Congress] by academics at the University of Manchester said. Average train fares in the UK increased at three times the rate of average wages between 2008 and 2012.
The study also found that the average age of trains has risen from 16 years in 1996 to 18 years today. Just £1.9bn was spent on rolling stock between 2008 and 2012, compared with £3.2bn between 1989 and 1993.
More than 90% of new investment in recent years had been financed by Network Rail and came mainly from taxpayer funding or government-underwritten borrowing. (The Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2013: B3)