The white paper which preceded the controversial privatisation of Britain's railways. A document remarkable for its brevity, and for what is left unsaid (undecided?) as much as for what is stated. It sets out the proposal to split infrastructure from operations, creating Railtrack to look after the former, and private sector franchises to run the latter.
Intercity is noted as profit-making, and therefore not to be sold "at this stage": Network Southeast, which is heavily loss-making, "will be franchised". As far as through ticketing goes, "it will be for train service operators to make arrangements to accept each others' tickets".
Subcontracting out of maintenance is covered in one sentence; possibly a mistake in hindsight. A franchising regulator is proposed, and safety is given to HSE. Privatisation of Railtrack is barely mentioned; only that "powers will...be taken to allow the future privatisation of all BR track..."
This document was published on 14th July 1992 by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
It was written by Department of Transport.
The original document format was Paper, and comprised 24 pages.
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"Privatisation is one of the great success stories of this Government...The time has come to extend these benefits to the railways. This calls for a new approach. BR makes large losses. It cannot therefore be sold as a complete concern in the same way as other industries which we have privatised and there will not be substantial proceeds to the Exchequer. Our objective is to improve the quality of railway services by creating many new opportunities for private sector involvement. This will mean more competition, greater efficiency and a wider choice of services more closely tailored to what customers want."
Future Rail - The Next Decade
14th July 1992
New Opportunities for the Railways: The Privatisation of British Rail
19th January 1993
British Coal and British Rail (Transfer Proposals) Act 1993
27th August 1993
Private Eye No. 827 - BR Selloff Latest
5th November 1993
Railways Act 1993
3rd April 1996
Rail Regulator's Statement for the Railtrack Prospectus
1st May 1996
Railtrack Share Offer Prospectus
5th June 2009
Department for Transport - The failure of Metronet
Does the franchise model just need technical changes or would a concession system be better?
or just view the results
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