While rail passengers are being warned to expect fare increases of up to 40% - possibly even more - over the next four years it’s bonanza time in the boardrooms of Britain’s main private transport operators. 

 The “UK Transport Rich List” is topped by Keith Ludeman – boss of the Go-Ahead group – who saw his salary rise by an incredible 35% from £916,000 on the June 2009 figures to £1,240,000 in July this year. Ludeman is responsible for the Southern Trains franchise which recently announced it was axing toilets, as a cost cutting measure on the key inter-city route between Portsmouth and Brighton.


Hot on his heels are Brian Souter from Stagecoach on £762,000 and David Martin from Arriva on £743,635. Company profits show that the big five UK transport operators have posted combined dividends of more than £2 billion since privatisation.


Roughly translated, what was once a fully integrated, national rail network was handed over to the private sector in the 1990s. Or rather the assets were largely handed over, because the public were still expected to provide massive subsidies to the new rail owners. It was either that, or revert to the old privately owned network which had to be nationalised after the Second World War because it was bankrupt.


So the great British travelling public is now being forced to stump up for a reduction in those same subsidies, making travelling to work possibly even more expensive than any rewards received for work itself. To add insult to injury, the fat cats who run the industry will continue to stuff their pockets at the public expense.


Meanwhile, the same bosses are busy cutting costs and cutting staff.


Rarely are any of these facts laid before the long suffering commuters, who are invited by much of the media instead to bash the unions – and in particular the leader of the main rail union, the RMT, Bob Crow – when union members strike to save jobs and maintain services. And sadly, Britain is such an atomized and spiritually crushed society that all too many people have simply become resigned to the most grotesque two fingered salute that is being given to them by Government and industry bosses alike.


How quite unlike France..






Railway Directors Remuneration

Train company

Highest Paid Director



Arriva Group


David Martin £743,635 (31 Dec 2009)

Arriva Cross Country

199,000 (01 Mar 2009)

Arriva Trains Wales

194,000 (31 Dec 2009)

First Group


Moir Lockhead £643,000 (31 Mar 2010)

First Capital Connect

398,000 (31 Mar 2009)

First Great Western

190,000 (31 Mar 2008)

Hull Trains

Information unavailable.


429,275 (31 Mar 2009).

First Transpenine

Information unavailable.

Go-Ahead Group (65% of Govia)


Keith Ludeman £916,000 (27 Jun 2009)

                             £1240,000 (July 2010)

London Midland

Information unavailable.


Information unavailable.


358,000 (28 Jun 2008)

National Express Group

Interim 6 months ended 30th June 08


Ray O’Toole £644,000 (31 Dec 2009)


166,852 (31 Dec 2008)

Stagecoach Group

Interim 6 months ended 31st October 08


Brian Souter £762,000 (30 Apr 2010)

East Midlands Trains

Information unavailable.

South West Trains

Information unavailable.