Railways under the British Transport Commission
Until the drastic changes in transport policy in the early 1960s the railways, along with other forms of transport, remained under the tutelage of the British Transport Commission as established by the Transport Act of 1947. During the early years of its existence the Commission substantially completed the unification of the railways and, by the autumn of 1951, had almost completed the acquisition of long-distance road haulage undertakings. The main emphasis was on the integration of transport services, and partly for this reason the organization of the Commission’s services remained highly functional with fairly rigid control from the centre. Inevitably the structure proved to be top-heavy and cumbersome, and given the difficulties involved it is hardly surprising that little progress was made towards integration of services in the early years. The return of a Conservative Government in 1951 brought a different approach to the transport question. Competition rather than integration now became the main objective under the Transport Act of 1953. The main aim of the Act was to pave the way for the denationalization of road haulage and enable the Commission to dispose of its existing holdings in road passenger transport if it saw fit to do so.
KeywordsRoad Transport Road User Railway System Select Committee Road Operator
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