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Are Britain’s railways really the envy of the world?

4 August 2018

9:00 AM

4 August 2018

9:00 AM

Ranking railways

A director of the Rail Delivery Group claimed that Britain’s railways were the ‘envy of Europe’. Could it be true? For an independent analysis, the Boston Consulting Group compiles a Rail Performance Index of European rail systems (latest ed. 2015).
— The UK came 8th out of 25 countries, behind Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany and Austria.
— The UK came top for safety, but dropped to joint 15th place for quality of service (which includes fares as well as punctuality).
— The index is also plotted against the public cost of the rail system. Britain’s railways came out at average value. The best-value rail systems were Finland, Switzerland, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. The worst value were Bulgaria, Portugal, Slovakia and Latvia.

Slapping on tariffs

Will food be more expensive after Brexit? Here are some of the EU tariffs we have to charge on imports from the rest of the world at present but will not have to after Brexit:

Beef/veal 12.8% plus €176.80 per 100 kg
Ham €77.8 per 100 kg
Chickens, ready to cook €32.5 per 100 kg
Tuna 22%
Tomatoes €143 per 100kg
Aubergines 12.8%
Asparagus 10.2%
Grapes €177.3 per 100 kg
Honeydew melon 8.8%
Coffee (unroasted) 8.3%
Chocolate bars 8.3% – 43%

Hot items

Products whose sale increased in July thanks to the heatwave (up on July last year):

Sausages +7%
Sun cream +12%
Sparkling wine +13%
Ice cream +17%
Burgers +24%

Source: KantarWorldwide

Full tanks

The Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) was criticised by Oxfam for promising donors the chance to meet ministers. Which are the richest think tanks in the UK?

Overseas Development Institute £28.9m
Institute of Development Studies £19.6m
International Institute of Strategic Studies £16.8m
Chatham House £13.7m
Institute of Fiscal Studies £7.5m
Royal United Services Institute £5.7m
European Council on Foreign Relations £5.1m

The IEA came 13th on the list at £2.1m.
Source: Transparify

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