Monday, 23 October 2006

Anyone for Tennis?

In the first of this week’s special features on deregulation, we look first at transport as a political tennis match.

Entries in red = Labour government action
Entries in blue = Conservative government action

1919 – Royal commission recommended rail nationalisation.

1923 – Government regulated but did not nationalise railways.

1930 – Regulation of bus industry following concerns of free market. Licnesing of routes, vehicles and drivers.

1945 – Transport Holding Company (British Transport Commission) formed, as part of government's nationalisation agenda.

1951 – Denationalisation of some road haulage.

1962 – So-called Beeching era of rail branch line closures and fragmented BTC to free-standing corporations.

1969 – PTEs formed to co-ordinate urban public transport; regrouping of nationalised and large territorial private bus companies into National Bus Company.

1980 – Deregulated coach services.

1986 – Deregulated bus services and scene set for privatisation of NBC and later SBG.

1989 – Conservatives introduce massive road building programme.

1993 – Rail privatisation begins with Railways Act.

1997 – Labour government installed but few changes to the way public transport operated, till the current debate on regulation.

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