Experiences with Railway Regulation in Great Britain and the Czech Republic – Round Table Report

Issue: 4/2015

Chris Nash

Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), Lifton Villas, 1-3 Lifton Place, University of Leeds, C.A.Nash@its.leeds.ac.uk

Monika Jandová

ESF MU, Lipová 41a, Brno

Zdeněk Tomeš

Katedra ekonomie, Ekonomicko-správní fakulta MU, Lipová 41a, 602 00 Brno, tomes@econ.muni.cz

The aim of the Round Table was to compare British and Czech experiences with railway regulation and competition introduction and to determine which lessons can be learnt. Special attention was paid to the question of whether the very complex British reform can be an inspiration for further liberalisation of the railway sector in the Czech Republic or whether there are any reform mistakes that are best avoided. Based on two introductory presentations and subsequent plenary discussion, some consensus emerged. The participants agreed that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to railway regulation and that the introduction of competition should take into account the different circumstances of a particular country. Franchising in passenger operations in Britain successfully stimulated demand but also increased costs to the industry, so its implementation should be completed with care. It seems very unlikely that open-access competition would be a viable solution for the whole passenger rail market because it is limited to a few commercially attractive routes, and as Czech experience suggests, it creates many new problems. Finally, it was confirmed that a strong and dedicated regu-lator is needed in a newly liberalised environment in order to solve many emerging conflicts and disputes.

DOI: 10.1515/revecp-2015-0025
JEL: L98, L92, K23
Keywords: Railway regulation, Open access, Franchising, Competitive tendering

CMA (2015). Competition in passenger rail services in Great Britain – A discussion document for consultation. Available on: https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/55a8d1d6e5274a6fea000....

McNulty, R. (2011). Realising the Potential of GB Rail – Final Independent Report of the Rail Value for Money Study. Department for Transport and Office of Rail Regulation, London. ISBN 978-1-84864-123-5.

Smith, A. & Nash, C. (2014). Rail Efficiency: Cost Research and Its Implications for Policy. Discussion paper 2014:22. International Transport Forum.

Smith, A., Nash, C. & Wheat, P. (2009). Passenger rail franchising in Britain: has it been a success? International Journal of Transport Economics. 36(1), pp. 33-62.

Tomeš, Z., Kvizda, M., Jandová, M. & Rederer, V. (2015). Open access passenger rail competition in the Czech Republic. August 2015. Unpublished paper.


Tomeš, Z., Kvizda, M., Nigrin, T., & Seidenglanz, D. (2014). Competition in the railway passenger market in the Czech Republic. Research in Transportation Economics, 48, pp. 270-276. DOI: 10.1016/j.retrec.2014.09.052

Wheat, P.E. & Smith, A. (2015). Do the usual results of railway returns to scale and density hold in the case of heterogeneity in outputs: A hedonic cost function approach, Journal of Transport Economics and Policy. 2015:49, pp.35-47.