Historic subsidy

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absolutelymilk

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Does anyone know much about the BR era subsidy?

On p.174 of "Integration to privatisation" by Terry Gourvish, it gives a table of the PSO subsidy for 1979 to 1990, but comparing with ORR figures for 1989/90, the figure given by Gourvish is around a hundred million smaller, so I am assuming there was more to the subsidy than just the PSO. Any chance anyone has any figures for this or can point me in the right direction towards the total subsidy?
 
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ChiefPlanner

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The BR "subsidy" or passenger service obligation was a fact of the 1968 Transport Act where an annual price was agreed by service group for loss making passenger services - some surprising ones there such as Bletchley - Euston (no Milton Keynes then !) - all other services - including freight were increasingly "stand alone" - and freight received no subsidy at all - as time went on - targets were set by the (generally) anti- rail DfT for a rate of return on investment and "capital" invested. (such as new rolling stock)

The late , great Peter Parker referred to it as "a social contract" not a subsidy. By 1982 or so , freight was making a decent contribution in surplus terms - but then we had a very good contract for bulk coal movements - the watering down of which in due course gave "benefits" to the power generators in terms of lower costs (and bigger profits to them) - but reduced the railways finances. Very complicated - could say a lot more but a study of the BRB Annual Reports would show the trends.
 

Lankyline

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As Chiefplanner has said the subsidies were borne out of the Transport act and were catagorised as follows,

1. That subsidy could be provided for unprofitable lines were there was a social need
2. The line was not profitable
3. Was desirable for social and / or economic reasons for passenger services to continue
4. It was financially unreasonable for BR to provide these services without a grant

The consequence of this approach was that subsidy could be considered on a regional basis not national, thereby targeting specific lines, Barbara Castle also wrote off more than a BILLION pounds of BR debt !
Some lines that benefitted from this were Kyle of Lochalsh, York - Harrogate, St Ives & Looe branches and Oxenholme - Windermere
 
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