Government spending on rail network falls to 15-year low
The amount spent on Britain's railways by the government has fallen to its lowest level for nearly 15 years, new figures show.
Some £4.2 billion of government support went to the rail industry in 2016/17 to help with the operation, maintenance and upgrading of the network.
SEE ALSO: Rail fares to rise by 3.6% in New Year
This was a drop of almost 13% on the previous year, once inflation is taken into account.
The decrease was mostly due to the end of funding for Crossrail, London's new east-to-west line.
The figures, from the Office of Rail and Road, show that government support for Britain's rail network peaked in 2006/07 (£7.5 billion), since when it has dropped in real terms by 44%.
Total spending in 2016/17 was the lowest since 2002/03 (£3.4 billion).
The majority of government support was in the form of a grant to Network Rail (£4.1 billion), which was used to maintain and improve the network.
This amount was up slightly (£32 million) on the previous year.
Funding also rose for new high-speed line HS2.
This went up from £472 million in 2015/16 to £839 million in 2016/17.