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New Left Review I/8, March-April 1961


Nick Faith

Transport Politics

there is a very clear “image” conjured up in Socialist minds by these words, an automatic response that might be summarised as follows:—

The Labour government inherited a badly run down railway system; it then nationalised road haulage and made a gallant effort for several years to plan the two as a co-ordinated system. Unfortunately the Tories have spent a decade undoing the good work; they have given power to regional boards, dominated by businessmen, who have ensured that private industry shall take profitable slices of railway orders. The Tories have discriminated unfairly against railways (and canals) as freight carriers, against the private hauler on the roads. Finally the Stedeford Report has drawn up a blueprint which, be “decoordinating” transport operations, has finally betrayed the ideals behind nationalisation once and for all. The consequence will be chaos in the sixties, in contrast with a true nationalised system, like the French, with its fast, punctual and clean services.

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