The Government has earmarked significant support, £16 billion, to keep train services running since the start of the pandemic and keep people in jobs during the height of lockdowns, the equivalent to £600 for every family in the UK and £160,000 for every rail worker. If recent shortfalls in passenger demand and revenue are maintained, this represents a £2 billion per annum loss in revenue. We do not think it is fair to continue providing the industry with an increased subsidy from taxpayers at a time when there is pressure on everyone’s finances.
We have asked Network Rail, train operators and the industry to consider all options to make the railway sustainable for the long term. Staffing costs is just one area of a wide range of reforms and changes. We need an agile workforce that can deliver for passengers. These reforms will make the railway more efficient, delivering more effectively for passengers and taxpayers.