The Serpell report was essentially an attempted re-run of Beeching-style closures of secondary routes. Unlike the first attempt, there were fewer obvious candidates for closure; Serpell ran into a political trap with the infamous 'table A', which showed all but a few ex-London mainlines closed, and left Glasgow and Edinburgh as the northern outposts of the network.
This option was seized upon by the report's opponents, and they successfully killed the whole exercise. The report did, however, set the tone for the next few years, with BR cutting costs and attempting to close lines by stealth.
This document was published on 19th December 1982 by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
It was written by Department of Transport.
The original document format was Scanned Images, and comprised 129 pages.
This document was kindly sourced from British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service and is in our Financial & economic reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 2nd October 2004.
This document is Crown Copyright, and is subject to the terms governing the reproduction of crown copyright material. Depending on the status and age of the original document, you may need an OPSI click-use license if you wish to reproduce this material, and other restrictions may apply. Please see this explanation for further details.
"We were appointed...to examine the finances of the railway and associated operations, in the light of all relevant considerations, and to report on options for alternative policies, and their related objectives, design to secure improved financial results in an efficiently run railway in Great Britain over the next 20 years."
19th December 1982
Railway Finances - Report of a Committee chaired by Sir David Serpell KCB CMG OBE
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