A READER asked (Times, February 4) about rail subsidies. It is a very complicated subsidy system and I am no expert, but a quick check on the internet showed that, according to the Department for Transport, Southeastern trains receives 8.8 pence subsidy for every passenger, per mile travelled. Nationally, train companies thrive on a subsidy of about £5.3 billion and Network Rail, which maintains the infrastructure, is in debt to the taxpayer for about £33 billion, yet in total railways only account for less than ten per cent of miles travelled by the general public. The vast majority is by car. It would seem the poor driver who puts money into the economy through massive taxation is also subsidising other people’s travel costs!
Herne Bay Times, February 18th 2015