CPS Research Fellow Tony Lodge commented on a story in The Times in which it was reported that Britain’s biggest train operator has called for a radical shake-up of the system of rail franchising to introduce competition on services between London and Edinburgh, Monday 19 October 2015.
"That language revealed Virgin-Stagecoach’s own agenda, Tony Lodge, a long-time campaigner for open-access competition, said. “It is welcome that Virgin and Stagecoach accept that there must be more on track rail competition,” Mr Lodge, a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, said.
“But to bash and oppose what little open-access competition there is reflects an underlying monopolistic desire to see off those trying to deliver real competition and grow new rail markets and reduce rail fares, particularly in the north.
“Evidence shows that where a franchise faces open-access competition then more people use the railway and more routes are served with happier passengers. If the monopoly rail providers want to see open-access rail companies pay more track access fees then that is right, so long as they then get greater access to the railway.”"