British Conservatives Admit Railroad Deregulation Failed

The British policy chief says that the decision was ideologically driven and 'wrong'.
December 14, 2003, 9am PST | David Gest
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"The way that the railways were privatised by the Conservatives was a mistake, David Willetts, the party's policy chief admits today. He says the decision taken by John Major's government to separate responsibility for the trains from the management of the track was ideologically driven and 'wrong'. Mr Willetts says: 'Rail privatisation was a classic example of taking a model that had worked for one industry and wrongly applying it to different circumstances. We had a model for gas and electricity, where you had a neutral grid then you had competing providers putting electricity or gas into the grid. The Treasury applied that model to railways and it was the wrong model. The equivalent of the grid, the track, is a much more important part of the railways. It is where a much higher proportion of the capital expenditure is. You must apply your principles in the light of circumstance.'"

Thanks to Richard Layman

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Published on Saturday, December 13, 2003 in The Daily Telegraph
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