The rising cost of train travel in the UK has been a source of public discontent for many years, with the most recent spike seeing a 3.4% increase – above the rate of inflation. Here we have 5 dissertation topics looking at different aspects of the causes and effects of increased rail fares within a UK perspective.
1) Rising rail fares in the UK: A comparative analysis with other European countries’ rail fares
It is a well-known fact that rail travel in the UK is expensive; often, booking a domestic flight itinerary might be a lot cheaper than using any of the railway companies between major UK cities. This dissertation aims to investigate the probable policy actions to make UK rail travel more affordable and to offer it as alternative transportation method over personal cars.
Key Source: Fenelon, K. (2017). Railway economics. United States: Routledge.
2) Reasons behind the astronomical rail travel rates in the UK – A historical overview of the politics behind railway development
It is without a doubt that rail travel in the UK has become a privilege due to the continuously increasing prices. Some degree of fare changes is usually acceptable. However, the rate at which train ticket prices rose in the last ten to twenty years was well above the average rise in wages, that puts additional burdens on commuters. This dissertation aims to analyse the causes and consequences of the price hikes and to identify probable policy actions to make rail travel more affordable.
Key Source: Comtois, C., Loo, B., Hesse, M. and Knowles, R. (2016). Sustainable Railway Futures. Routledge: United States.
3) Commuters and the ever-increasing railway fares: to what extent does it affect employment decisions?
As it was suggested under the previous topics, rail travel in the UK is one of the most expensive means to reach another city or commute to work. There is only a limited amount of past research focusing on how the hike in railway prices affects employment decisions, so this topic is expected to fill an existing research gap with policy implications.
Key Source: Profillidis, V. (2016). Railway Management and Engineering. United States: Routledge.
4) Hiking Rail travel prices in the UK: to what extent is it justified? A service quality perspective of the UK railway industry.
The general consumer expectation is that the price must, in one way or another, reflect the service quality; nevertheless, this is seldom apparent in case of UK rail travel. This dissertation aims to explore both the policy-making and the consumer side to ascertain the underlying causes of the recent hikes in seasonal railway tickets to determine if the prices are indeed justified.
Key Source: Comtois, C., Loo, B., Hesse, M. and Knowles, R. (2016). Sustainable Railway Futures. Routledge: United States
5) Politics and increase in rail fares: could it be used as a political tool to win votes?
Increasing rail fares in the UK is a frequent source of debate, yet looking at the last ten years, it seems that the government has not implemented measures to combat this growing issue. The aim of this dissertation is to explore if and how the rising public transportation costs could be used to win votes and to challenge the current government in the UK.
Key Source: Stewart, M. (2017). Politics and economic policy in the UK since 1964. Oxford: Elsevier.