Pain on the Train

One might suppose that the market fundamentalists who have been running successive UK governments since Thatcher would know a thing or two about markets.  Specifically one would think that they could ensure that a given market was reasonably efficient and competitive.

Unfortunately this is clearly not so in relation to the railways as a small piece in yesterday’s FT reports:

The Competition Commission has found that conditions imposed by the government on companies that lease carriages to the train operators are stifling competition…  [This] will come as a blow to the government’s management of the private rail network.

The Dept of Transport has apparently complained that overcharging costs as much as £177 million pa out of rolling stock leasing costs of circa £1 billion much of which is funded by taxpayer subsidies.

This really isn’t good enough


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