Network rail invested nearly £30m in Doddle, which is a 'joint venture' for collecting parcels & sending them. I only found this out as I've used the service a fair bit and found the shops and service badly ran and seemingly very overstaffed and the obviously had a lot of money pumped into them. I was surprised to find out it was NR. Are they allowed to do this? Since when did NR become some sort of Dragon's Den investor in startups? It seems to me they should not be doing this and instead providing the retail area for others to do it, probably better since they don't have a government funded enterprise payrolling it. There's a few reasons in my mind for this - firstly, NR don't really have any track record or expertise in investing in startups and it's not in their remit. Secondly, I think there's real conflict of interest here. If amazon/whatever came along and wanted to offer a similar parcel collection service, would they allow it or start worrying about the damage it could do to their own competing service, which frankly isn't very good, even if passengers and station users would get more from it? Finally, isn't this contravening EU state aid rules?