New research on rail privatisation by Dr Robert Jupe argues that the performance of the UK rail network would have been better had rail remained an integrated, nationalised industry.
The research is published in Business History (2011, Vol53, No 3) in an article titled ‘A Poll Tax on Wheels?’and a summary of the project and its conclusions follows:
Rail privatisation was a controversial, widely unpopular policy whose implementation was not inevitable. This article employs counterfactual history methodology to examine whether the move to rail privatisation might have failed. It places the privatisation proposals in context by examining opposition within the Conservative Party and British Rail. The paper then focuses on three key counterfactual questions, including the significance of New Labour’s reversal of its commitment to re-nationalise rail under its ‘third way’ policy and the possible consequences had the move to privatise rail failed. Based on the historical evidence available, it concludes that the move to rail privatisation could have failed, and that performance would have been better had rail remained an integrated, nationalised industry.
For more information please contact Dr Robert Jupe (firstname.lastname@example.org).