The Railways, the Market and the Government

129 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2006 Last revised: 29 Aug 2013

John Hibbs

University of Central England

Oliver Knipping

Institute for Free Enterprise

Rico Merkert

University of Leeds

Chris Nash

Leeds University Business School (LUBS) - Division of Economics

Rana Roy

Independent

David Tyrrall

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

Richard Wellings

Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

The debate on rail privatisation often seems to focus on very narrow issues. Those on both sides of the argument seem to be able to employ a mass of statistics to prove their point. Proponents of privatisation suggest, with some credibility, that all was reasonably well with the privatised railways until the Hatfield disaster. Opponents point to spiralling costs since privatisation.

The authors of this monograph examine privatisation in the context of the long history of continual government intervention. The government imposed upon the industry a particular structure - separation of track and wheel. It also wrapped it up in increasing amounts of regulation.

After examining the history of government intervention in the railways and the privatisation process, the authors of this monograph then examine the future of railway policy. Should the industry be allowed to evolve its own structure - remerging the ownership of track and wheel if it wishes? What aspects of a railway should be regulated? Who should own the various parts of the infrastructure?

This monograph is essential reading for all with an interest in railway policy and the process of privatisation.

Keywords: rail privatisation, railway privatisation, British Rail, Railtrack, regulation, government intervention, railway policy, infrastructure

JEL Classification: H54, K2, L5, L9, L91, L92

Suggested Citation

Hibbs, John and Knipping, Oliver and Merkert, Rico and Nash, Chris and Roy, Rana and Tyrrall, David and Wellings, Richard, The Railways, the Market and the Government (2006). IEA Readings No. 61. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=909516 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.909516

John Hibbs (Contact Author)

University of Central England ( email )

School of Social Sciences
City North Campus
Birmingham, West Midlands B42 2SU
United Kingdom

Oliver Knipping

Institute for Free Enterprise ( email )

Rico Merkert

University of Leeds ( email )

Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Chris Nash

Leeds University Business School (LUBS) - Division of Economics ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Rana Roy

Independent

No Address Available

David Tyrrall

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 20 7040 0221 (Phone)
+44 (0) 20 7040 8881 (Fax)

Richard Wellings

Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) ( email )

2 Lord North Street
London SW1P 3LB
United Kingdom

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