Report says growth is dependent on moderating rising costs

Growth in the rail industry can only be achieved if costs are brought under control according to the McNulty report published today.

The Rail Value for Money Study has called for a more flexible fares policy and greater co-operation between train operators and Network Rail.

The final report puts forward a wide range of recommendations to encourage cost reduction, deliver new efficiencies and mechanisms to drive implementation.

The Study estimates that implementing the recommendations outlined in the report could deliver savings between £700m and £1bn annually by 2019.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Sir Roy McNulty said: “Achieving a 30% efficiency improvement by 2019 should be the target for the UK rail industry given the Study’s findings on the industry’s costs compared to European railways and other industries.

“A reduction of this magnitude is achievable, and is essential if passengers and taxpayers are to get the fair deal they deserve from the rail industry.”

The UK rail network is the most costly in Europe with the government paying £5bn of the £11bn annual costs.

McNulty’s report, which was commissioned by the previous government, will feed into a white paper expected in the autumn.