'Railopolies' come under fire as ambitions for privatisation are seen as abandoned writes Mark Leftly (Monday 25 March 2013).
To view the full article, visit The Independent website.
The ambitions behind rail privatisation have been "betrayed" by successive governments over the past two decades, according to an influential centre-right think-tank that was co-founded by Margaret Thatcher.
In its Rail's Second Chance report launched today, the Centre for Policy Studies blasts ministers for failing to introduce sufficient competition on the train lines, meaning that there are "a series of state-sponsored rail operator monopolies or 'railopolies' ".
Report author Tony Lodge has recommended the growth of "open access", which allows rival train operators to run services on the same track on which franchises work. At present, this system is only used in a handful of areas, but two non-subsidised operators, Grand Central and First West Hull on the East Coast Mainline, were found to help drive down fare hikes
Watch our short animation of the benefits of on-rail open access competition: