New ORR data shows a further increase in the proportion of rail industry income coming from rail users, as government’s share falls below a third

Britain’s rail passengers continue to provide a rising share of railway income, according to figures for the past financial year released by the Office of Rail Regulation this week.

Total rail industry income was £12.9bn during 2012/13, of which 59.2% (£7.7bn) came through the farebox. This compares to 57.4% in 2011/12 and 55.6% in 2010/11. The ORR is attributing the increase mainly to the growing number of passengers using the network, which has risen by 10.4% over the past three years.

A further 9.9% came from other TOC/Network Rail income, such as property rentals and parking.

The government’s contribution was less than a third of total income (30.9%). Government contributed £4.0bn to Network Rail and in aggregate made a net contribution of £0.04bn to train operators, although there were significant regional variations. In real terms, total government funding has reduced by 4.2% compared to 2011-12 and by 9.1% compared to 2010-11.

Commenting on the figures, ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “Passengers are increasingly the main funder of the railways, and must be central to developing its plans for the future.”


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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