Magazine article Public Finance

Rail Companies Deny Profiteering from Fare Rises

Magazine article Public Finance

Rail Companies Deny Profiteering from Fare Rises

Article excerpt

Rail bosses have defended themselves against accusations of making excessive profits in the wake of January s above-inflation fare increases.

On February 4, Louise Ellman, the chair of the Commons transport select committee, asked rail chiefs to justify fare increases of six or seven times the rate of inflation. These were fuelling a perception that rail companies were 'fleecing the public', she said.

But Virgin's commercial director, Graham Leech, told the MPs: I believe the sort of increases that we've made can be justified because they reflect the fact that there is a better, faster service on the West Coast Main Line. The average price is less than if they were travelling this time last year.'

But Leech said one particular fare hike - the journey from Carlisle to Birmingham, up from £71 to £124 - would now be reviewed. …

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