Published July 2012
Britain’s rail privatisation was one of the greatest political failures of recent history. A well-functioning industry was torn apart to satisfy political dogma and privatised in a way that not only compromised safety and wrecked performance but also resulted in financial melt-down.
This book, with a new preface for the Kindle edition, serves as a valuable reminder of the risks of privatising a single, state-owned service and splitting it into many competing entities, each linked by contracts rather than a shared service ethos.
Unfortunately, this lesson does not appear to have been learned by the Coalition Government, which seems dedicated to destroying first the National Health Service the way the Tories wrecked the railways and then doing the same to education.
Finally, in an appendix, this new edition contains a never-before-published three page statement written by Sir John Major on the privatisation of the railways; a subject he never mentions once in his autobiography.
Pricing and availability
‘While there are undoubtedly some natural target audiences for Christian Wolmar’s work, this book can also be recommended to anyone who wishes to understand the bewildering and often scurrilous way in which critical national transport policy is developed. You will not be disappointed.’
Trevor Whelan, CILT