100 years of Government control

From the earliest years the Government has sought to control the railways through legislation, regulation and direction. A century ago, in September 1919, their hand was immeasurably strengthened by the creation of the Ministry of Transport, under Sir Eric Geddes, whose first act was to reorganise the railways and create the Big Four. Many of the problems of these early years are the same as those with which Government struggles today – safety, fares, performance and accountability. Can we learn lessons from the past to guide future proposals from the Williams Review onwards?

The first transport minister: Sir Eric Geddes.
Alamy

WARTIME CONTROL

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