Of all countries in Europe, Great Britain has seen in the last 25 or so years the most radical changes in the regulatory and institutional arrangements for public transport – bus, tram, metro and rail. But the underlying thrusts of deregulation, privatisation and marketisation have been applied differently in London, in buses outside London, in tram development and in the national rail network. And the institutional arrangements have evolved differently, as between London, the metropolitan areas, counties and unitaries, and at national level in England, Wales and Scotland. How successful has this all been? Indeed what are the measures of success for our local, metropolitan and national transport systems? What objectives should they be trying to satisfy? Financial? Efficiency? Commercial? Economic? Public interest? Urban development and quality of life? Environmental? Are they in conflict?
David Quarmby offers a critical examination of how well today’s transport regulatory and institutional arrangements score against these different objectives, and puts up for discussion some reforms which he argues would enable transport to do a better job for our economy, our cities, the environment we live in and our quality of life. He also looks at whether reforming the way our roads are provided, managed, improved and funded can offer similar benefits. In tackling this topic, Dr Quarmby brings to bear his long and varied experience in transport, from running London’s buses, running Sainsbury’s supply logistics, advising the Department for Transport (DfT), chairing the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), being a director of a railway and bus company, carrying out transport and economic consultancy on policy and strategy for public and private sector clients, and chairing transport research and policy organisations.

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