Railways Act, 1924

Adjustment of charges to revenue.

53.—(1) The standard charges to be fixed in the first instance for the amalgamated company shall be such as will, together with the other sources of revenue, in the opinion of the railway tribunal, so far as practicable yield, with efficient and economical working and management, an annual net revenue (hereinafter referred to as the standard revenue) equivalent to the average annual aggregate net revenue for the three years of account ended next before the 1st day of January, 1914, of the amalgamating companies and the absorbed companies, together with—

(a) a sum equal to five per cent. on capital expenditure forming the basis on which interest was allowed at the end of the period during which the amalgamating and absorbed companies were in the possession of the British Government; and

(b) such allowance as may be necessary to remunerate adequately any additional capital which may have been raised or provided in respect of expenditure on capital account incurred since the 1st day of January, 1913, and not included in the expenditure referred to in the last preceding paragraph, unless it can be shown that such expenditure has not enhanced the value of the undertaking; and

(c) such allowance as appears to the railway tribunal to be reasonable in respect of capital expenditure not being less than one thousand pounds in the case of any work and not being capital expenditure included in paragraph (a), on works which enhance the value of the undertaking, but which had not at the beginning of the year 1913 become fully remunerative:

Provided that, in determining the sum which charges will, with efficient and economical working and management, yield, the tribunal shall, with a view to encouraging the taking of early steps for effecting economies in working and management expenses rendered possible by or in anticipation of amalgamation, take into consideration the economies effected by such steps already taken, and shall make such allowance in respect thereof as the tribunal may consider fair and equitable to an amount not exceeding thirty-three and one-third per cent. of such economies.

(2) The railway tribunal when fixing charges in pursuance of the provisions of this section shall have regard to the means which in their opinion are best calculated to ensure the maximum development and extension in the public interest of the carriage by railway of merchandise and of passengers and their luggage, and shall accordingly ascertain as far as may be practicable the effect which the existing charges, or any of them, have had upon the merchandise or passenger traffic to which they are applicable, and, in particular, whether the application of such charges has tended or, if continued, would be likely to tend towards causing the increase or diminution of the said traffic.

(3) If on any such review as is mentioned in the next following section it appears to the railway tribunal that the allowance made under paragraph (c) of sub-section (1) of this section was too high or too low, the tribunal may revise the allowance and make such adjustment in the amount of the standard revenue as may be necessary.

(4) When fixing the charges necessary to produce the standard revenue, the railway tribunal shall take into consideration the charges in respect of any business carried on by the company ancillary or subsidiary to its railways, the charges for which are not subject to the jurisdiction of the railway tribunal, and if, in the opinion of the railway tribunal, the company is not making, or has not taken reasonable steps to enable it to make adequate charges in respect of any such business, the railway tribunal shall, in fixing the charges under this Part of this Act, take into account the revenue which would be produced by any such business if adequate charges were in operation.