It\’s a fair question I feel….
Passengers currently pay 50 per cent of the cost of improving and operating the rail network but the Government wants to extend the "user pays" principal, which would see them pay 75 per cent, and the taxpayer 25 per cent, in five years time.
Yes, there are indeed some externalities which rail travel copes with better than, say, car transport. London and the SE especially. Imagine the congestion if Network SE didn\’t exist (or whatever it\’s called these days).
But it\’s also true that some of the value of the network accrues to the passengers, not just the society at large. So, how much of that value and who should pay for it? Those who capture the value one would assume.
So, how much of the value accrues to the passenger and how much to the wider polity?
I would assume that it\’s different for different journeys. But does anyone know what the correct numbers are and thus what the split of payment should be?