Britain's Railways The only transport for the future SC

Britain's Railways The only transport for the future SC

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Britain's Railways The only transport for the future SC
Britains Railways The only transport for the future By Colin Garratt Soft Cover 1993  
Britain's Railway is a celebration of British Rail's operation and achievements to date. It has transformed itself from a bureaucratic monolith into a progressive hi-tech business divided into six manageable operating sectors independently accountable for performance and cost-effectiveness. The sectors InterCity, Regional Railways, Network SouthEast, Post and Parcels, Railfreight Distribution, Trainload Freight, own their assets - track, property, personnel and trains.
Sectorisation is ensuring a clear accountability, totally decentralised management structure and a vigorous marketing strategy which by the day is evolving into an ever more successful customer-orientated service with an ever increasing sense of pride, identity and responsibility. The creation of these sectors in 1992 under organising for Quality (OFQ) has been the most dramatic reconstruction of our railway since it moved into state ownership forty-five years ago.
The sense of identity and commitment within these six sectors has become so intense that British Rail as such barely exists, yet the system remains vitally unified under the British Railways Board which oversees the crucial issue of safety, investment, strategy, and planning of new lines, along with the diverse range of technical skills and research from Central Services. Without enlightened railway development our target for greenhouse gas emissions cannot be met. Cities will become increasingly polluted and congested. Britain's annual road accident toll of 4,500 dead and hundreds of thousands seriously injured will increase by the forecast rise in motor traffic of 142% in less than two decades.
Railways are up to four times more energy-efficient than roads. They take one third of land space to convey the same number of people and they provide a safe disciplined form of transport for everyone. With only 60 per cent of the population owning cars they are essential.
The unfair basis on which the true cost of rail and road operations are assessed has done much to distort transport policies over recent years. Society pays dearly for its roads in Policing, accidents, construction, maintenance - all coming from public funds, whereas a rail ticket or freight tariff bears a direct relationship to its total cost. The Victorians planned our residential, commercialand industrial developments around the railway network. So should we, but the post-war years have seen an abandonment of this principle. New towns have sprung up away from rail links and out-of-town ;Si industrial estates and hypermarkets have exacerbated use of the car and lorry, enabling politicians to claim tritely that the railway cannot handle the nation's transport needs.
The need has never been greater for a properly integrated railway network operating under a coherent national transport policy. So what do rail managers do? Accept the disintegration of the network and pick up the pieces afterwards, or rebel at the erosion of the railway? It is irresponsible to contend that British Rail has a monopoly - it competes on an unequal basis against cars, coaches, planes and heavy trucking.
There exists within British Rail a professional commitment and devotion to the industry along with a plethora of hi-tech skills and knowledge which could so easily - even at this eleventh hour - make our railway the finest in the world.

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