In response to the ORR’s assessment of Network Rail’s finances and efficiency, a spokesperson for ATOC said:
“It’s widely recognised that the cost of the railways to the taxpayer is too high, particularly at a time when public spending is under such severe pressure.
“Freeing up train companies to bring more commercial nous into the railways has the potential to save hundreds of millions of pounds every year .The private sector needs more of a say when it comes to issues such as reviewing the priority and scope of projects currently delivered by Network Rail, ordering new rolling stock and managing stations.
“All investment projects should be judged on whether they will improve services for customers and increase revenue by attracting extra passengers to the railway, thereby reducing the cost to the taxpayer. The priority and viability of every scheme should be decided upon on the basis of a strong business case.”