Government support to the rail industry - table
1985-86 to 2012-13 Great Britain (£ million)
Revenue support grants to domestic passenger services
Financial year
Central government grants
PTE grants
Direct rail support
Other elements of government support
Total government support excluding PTE grants
Total government support including PTE grants
Freight grants
1985-86
849
78
0
61
910
988
7
1986-87
755
70
0
22
777
847
6
1987-88
796
68
0
-251
545
613
2
1988-89
551
70
0
-175
376
446
2
1989-90
479
84
0
232
711
795
1
1990-91
637
115
0
440
1,077
1,192
4
1991-92
902
120
0
562
1,464
1,584
1
1992-93
1,194
107
0
870
2,064
2,171
2
1993-94
926
166
0
535
1,461
1,627
4
1994-95
1,815
346
0
-464
1,351
1,697
3
1995-96
1,712
362
0
-1,643
69
431
4
1996-97
1,809
291
0
-1,044
765
1,056
15
1997-98
1,429
375
0
25
1,454
1,829
29
1998-99
1,196
337
0
53
1,249
1,586
29
1999-00
1,031
312
0
75
1,106
1,418
23
2000-01
847
283
0
84
931
1,214
36
2001-02
731
306
684
105
1,520
1,826
57
2002-03
935
304
1,166
183
2,284
2,588
49
2003-04
1,359
414
1,670
179
3,208
3,622
32
2004-05
878
389
2,370
154
3,402
3,791
26
2005-06 (R)
879
332
3,367
24
4,270
4,602
23
2006-07
1,456
313
4,463
76
5,995
6,308
30
2007-08
1,123
310
3,673
187
4,983
5,293
18
2008-09 (R)
237
317
4,266
356
4,859
5,176
21
2009-10 (R)
450
316
3,564
38
4,052
4,368
20
2010-11 (R)
-51
207
3,492
345
3,786
3,993
20
2011-12 (R)
-131
214
3,745
708
4,322
4,536
17
2012-13
-420
164
3,780
1,536
4,896
5,060
17
Source:
Department for Transport, Transport Scotland and Welsh Assembly.
 
Publication schedule:
Published: 22 August 2013
Next publication date: August 2014

For a list of all official statistics publication dates, please visit:
http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.1862
 
This is an official statistic. For more details please contact the Head of Profession Jay Lindop at jay.lindop@orr.gsi.gov.uk or on 020 7282 3978.
 
 
 
Background:

This table shows government subsidy towards the rail industry.
Government support comprises:
• Central Government grants – these are net payments to/from Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and performance receipts
• Grants made to Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs)
• Direct rail support is the grant payment to Network Rail and, in prior years, to London and Continental Railways
• Freight grants
• Other miscellaneous elements of Government support, including major projects.

Key results:
 
i) Government subsidy towards the railway industry in 2012-13 was £5,060 million (£5.1 billion), this is £524 million greater than the previous year.

ii) Government support reached its peak in 2006-07 with £6,308 million.

iii) Central government grants were -£420 million in 2012-13, this reflects money which was received by government from the various train operating companies as part of their franchise agreement.

iv) PTE grants were £164 million in 2012-13, a decrease of £50 million compared to the previous year.

v) Direct rail support was £3,780 million in 2012-13 an increase of £35 million compared to the previous year.

vi) Other elements of government support were £1,536 million in 2012-13, up by £828 million from the previous year. This element of Government support has seen an increase of £1,498 million since 2009-10 with the main component now being capital spending on Crossrail. In 2012-13 capital spending on Crossrail accounted for £1,205 million of other elements of government spending.

Methodology:
 
Prior to 1994-95, Government support to the rail industry comprised grants to British Rail and the Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs), and borrowing by British Rail from the National Loans Fund.
 
The privatisation of the rail industry in April 1994 led to changes in the basis of government funding. Grant levels were set to allow the newly formed rail companies to earn commercial returns. Support for passenger services was channelled through the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) and the PTEs, which were funded by the Revenue Support Grant and an additional Metropolitan Grant. Any cash surpluses that were earned were returned to the Exchequer and used to reduce the net level of support to the industry while the rail companies were still in the public sector. In 2001 OPRAF support was replaced with Strategic Rail Authority support, which in 2005 was replaced with grants made by the Department for Transport (DfT), the Welsh Government and Transport Scotland. Since its creation in 2001 Government grants have also been paid to Network Rail.
Franchise payments to newly formed rail companies or Train Operating Companies (TOCs) include payments contracted in their franchise agreements and performance receipts. The latter vary depending on the financial performance of the TOC, and can result in payments from a TOC to the Government as well as from Government to the TOC. Negative values in the table show where the Government was in receipt of payments.
Government support to the rail industry now chiefly consists of support grants paid to Network Rail and TOCs, PTE Special Grants and spending on major projects. Rail freight grants are also paid by Government to encourage the movement of freight by rail.

The year by year profile of Government support to the rail industry was affected by the decision in the Access Charges Review 2003 to reprofile Network Rail's income. This led to Government support being lower than it otherwise would have been in 2004-05 and 2005-06, with the shortfall being made up in later years.

See
http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/343.pdf for further details.
 
 

 
 
Notes, revisions and proposed changes:
 
i. Includes net payments to/from Train Operating Companies (TOCs) - including performance payments – made in accordance with the relevant franchise agreement. Since 2010-11 these figures also include contract payments from the Department for Transport to Merseytravel PTE and Transport for London which are made under funding arrangements for devolved operations. In 2012-13 £7.5 million was paid to the Department by the Olympic Delivery Authority to compensate for increased subsidies paid to the TOCs during the Olympic period, which arose as a result of Olympic ticketing products being exempt from support calculations. This payment cannot be accurately attributed to individual TOCs but is included in the overall TOC total as a balancing item. History relating to prior years’ figures is provided in the methodology statement.
ii. PTE grants are paid to the five Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) and Transport for Greater Manchester. These figures include grants made to PTEs specifically for rail, so will not include any spending on rail made by PTEs from general grants. All grants to PTEs are currently made by the Department for Transport. Between 1995-96 and 2005-06 PTE rail funding also included loan repayments under Deeds of Assumption (DoA). These were payments to the PTEs relating to their past capital investment in the railway. They were made by British Rail and DoA Ltd until 2001, when the Strategic Rail Authority took over responsibility for the payments until they were paid off.

iii. Direct rail support comprises direct payments to Network Rail. These originated in 2001 following the creation of Network Rail to replace Railtrack. Prior to this, Railtrack was funded by network access charges paid by train operators. These figures are net of any rebates to Government and interest fee payment by Network Rail to DfT. Prior year figures also include payments that were made to London and Continental Railways during the construction of the High Speed 1 route.
iv. Other elements of Government support include expenditure on: major projects; rail pensions; support to arms length bodies including the British Transport Police and Passenger Focus; a grant to British Rail to finance its residual activities; and other ad hoc rail projects. The proceeds from the sales of Rolling stock operating companies (ROSCOs) and British Rail non-passenger business in 1995-96 and 1996-97 are included in this category.
 
(R) The 2008-09 Central Government Grants figure was revised from £273 million to £237 million and the 2009-10 Central Government Grants figure was revised from £467 million to £450 million. This is due to revised data being recieved from DfT.
The 2011-12 Central Government Grants figure was revised from £-133 million to -£131 million. This was as a result of a minor adjustment to the Southeastern subsidy figure, which has been revised from £86.7 million to £88.3 million.
The Direct Rail Support figures between 2009-10 and 2011-12 have been revised after DfT identified inconsistencies in the inclusion of Network Rail rebates and interest fee charges in the previous figures. As a result the 2009-10 figure has been revised from £3,798 million to £3,564 million, and the 2010-11 figure from £3,680 million to £3,492 million. A small rounding adjustment has also been made to the 2011-12 figure, increasing it from £3,744 million to £3,745 million.
The 2010-11 and 2011-12 ‘other elements of Government support’ figures have been revised following a review by DfT of the spending included in this category. Previous years’ figures have not been reviewed due to a change in financial systems at DfT which means that previous data are not available. The 2010-11 figure has been revised from £125 million to £345 million following the inclusion of a £220 million grant to Crossrail Ltd that had not previously been included. The 2011-12 figure has been revised from £76 million to £708 million, primarily as a result of the inclusion of a £518 million grant to Crossrail Ltd, as well as the inclusion of some other spending that was not previously included.
 
For more information on revisions, please so the revisions log: http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/xls/stats-revisions-log.xls
 
Quality:

As part of our commitment to continuous quality improvement, we will be producing a full quality report for all NRT statistics, in line with the Government Statistical Service (GSS) standards for quality reporting. The quality measures below provide a summary of the key dimensions of statistical quality.
Relevance:

Users are consulted for their feedback by a number of methods, including the NRT portal survey and regular meetings of the Rail Statistics Management Group. If you have any feedback on these data or any of our statistics, please contact rstats@orr.gsi.gov.uk

We would like to know what you use this data for, we would greatly appreciate if you could complete this quick on-line survey (it should take a maximum of two minutes)
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/useofNRT.
Accuracy:
Government subsidy figures are audited by the three organisations which provide the data.
Timeliness/Punctuality:
The latest data in this release refers to 2012-13, 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.

Comparability & coherence:
ORR also publishes investment in the railway industry by private companies. This does not cover any government subsidy, but rather investment made by private companies into the railway industry.
Other links:
The following Government subsidy and private investment tables can be previewed here:
http://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/browsereports
- Government support to the rail industry - table
- Subsidy per passenger kilometre by TOC - table
- Private investment in the railway - table