Discuss the background to the privatisation of British Rail in the mid-1990s and its immediate effects on the management, operation and service quality of Britain’s railways
Analyse that attitude of successive governments towards the role of the railways in Britain’s society and economy between the 1980s and 2010.
Explore the privatisation of British Rail in the context of the privatisation of other nationalised industries by the government in the 1980s
Analyse the motivations behind the privatisation of British Rail.
Discuss the strong and weak points of the structure of the British railway industry after 1997, and how they affected its operating efficiency, service quality and level of safety
Discuss how the structure of the British railway industry after privatisation was very different to other counties’ railway networks
Examine the ongoing purpose and role of the railway in Britain’s society and economy, as well as what it represents in the national consciousness.
Again, where privatisation is concerned, impress on the students the importance of discussing a controversial and emotive issue in an objective manner
Present, again, the on-going debates in political circles and in public about what the railways’ role in society and the economy should be
Address wider debates as to whether public services are more efficiently operated by the state or by private enterprise
Challenge students to engage with an area of the historical study where there is an on-going debate amongst academics
Encourage students to think independently and develop their own viewpoints on a debated subject of study.
Module learning outcomes
By the conclusion of the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of the management, operation and service quality of Britain’s Rail in the 1970s, 1980s and early-1990s.
Demonstrate an awareness of the process by which British Rail was privatised.
Exhibit an understanding of the structure of British railways after 1997, and how this affected the industry’s operating efficiency, service quality and level of safety.
Show deeper understanding of the ideas discussed in the previous modules regarding the role of the railways in Britain’s society and economy.
Understand the importance of studying emotive or controversial historical events in an objective manner.
Express an opinion on the good and bad results of the privatisation of British Rail.
Demonstrate research skills by engaging with both primary and secondary source material.
Select and organise appropriate information effectively so as to develop coherent opinions and arguments.
Consider and solve problems, including complex problems to which there is no single solution.
Write work that is sustained offering a measured, convincing and scholarly argument.
% of module mark
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
The tutor will give regular individual feedback throughout the module on work submitted.
The assessment feedback is as per the university’s guidelines with regard to timings.
Reading lists, and the availability of texts/journals electronically, are subject to change: please check with Lifelong Learning/teaching staff before making any purchases prior to the start of the module.
Crompton, Gerald and Jupe, Robert, “Such a silly scheme: The privatisation of Britain’s railways, 1992-2002,” Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 14 (2003) – SUPPLIED DIGITALLY
Crompton, Gerald and Jupe, Robert, “A lot of friction at the interfaces: the regulation of Britain's privatised railway system,” Financial Accountability & Management, 19 (2003) – SUPPLIED DIGITALLY
Freeman, Roger and Shaw, John (eds.), All Change: A History of British Rail Privatisation, (London, 2000) – SUPPLIED DIGITALLY
Gourvish, T.R., British Rail 1974-1997: From integration to privatisation, (Oxford, 2004)
Parker, David, The Official History of Privatisation, Vol. II: Popular Capitalism, 1987-97, (London, 2012) – SUPPLIED DIGITALLY
J Jackson, James Daniel Johnson, Chris Nash, “On the willingness to pay for rural rail service level changes”, Research in Transportation Business & Management 4 (2012). – SUPPLIED DIGITALLY
Crompton, Gerald and Jupe, Robert, “A deficient performance: The regulation of the train operating companies in Britain’s privatised railway system”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 17 (2006) – SUPPLIED DIGITALLY
Dudley, Geoffrey and Jeremy Richardson, Why does policy change? : lessons from British transport policy 1945-99, London, 2015 – SUPPLIED DIGITALLY