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British Rail (Lost Revenue)

Volume 130: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the total revenue lost to British Rail per annum as a result of (a) fraud by passengers travelling without paying, (b) the effects of unmanned stations, (c) rolling stock problems and (d) staff shortages.

The cost-effective and efficient operation of the railway is a matter for the board's commercial judgment in the light of its objectives and financial targets. The board estimates that about £34 million a year is lost through fraudulent travel, which is why the Government are supporting BR's private Bill to provide for the introduction of a system of penalty fares.