Department of Transport, Committee on the Review of Railway Finances

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Details of MT 131
Reference: MT 131
Title: Department of Transport, Committee on the Review of Railway Finances

This series consists of the working papers of the Committee on the Review of Railway Finances

Date: 1982-1983
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Department of Transport, Committee on the Review of Railway Finances, 1982-1983

Physical description: 43 file(s)
Restrictions on use: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Department of Transport , in 1982

Publication note:

Transport Select Committee: Serpell Report on Railway Finances, (Sessional Papers, House of Commons, 1983/3) HC 240

Administrative / biographical background:

The Committee on the Review of Railway Finances was appointed on 5 May 1982 by the Secretary of State for Transport. Its terms of reference were "To examine the finances of the railway and associated operations, in the light of all relevant considerations, and to report on options for alternative policies and their related objectives, designed to secure improved financial results in an efficiently run railway in Great Britain over the next 20 years."

The Committee was chaired by Sir David Serpell, who had been the last Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and the first Permanent Secretary of the Department of the Environment. The other members of the Committee were Mr L Bond, Mr P J Butler and Mr A Goldstein. The Secretary of the Committee was Mr E B C Osmotherly, who was at the time Under Secretary of the Railways Directorate.

The Committee was asked to report within 5 or 6 months. It was hampered by two national railway strikes in the summer of that year and a delay in the production of the 1982 Rail Plan. In this short timetable the Committee concentrated its efforts on the railway's then current financial position, their assessment of the main problems, the extent to which the railway's financial position might be improved within existing policies and what might be achieved by major changes in, or departures from, those policies. The main Committee report was submitted on 20 December; a minority report dated 22 December was submitted by Mr A Goldstein on that date.

The Committee's recommendations were considered by the British Railways Board. The two reports were published by HMSO in 1983

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