Paul Salveson’s new book calling for local communities to have a greater say in their railways and for Britain’s transport system to be remodelled on a not-for-profit basis will be launched in York on 29 October.
In Railpolitik: Bringing railways back to the community, Salveson argues neither for our current botched privatisation nor for a return to the centralised ‘British Rail’ model, but for a new rail system which goes with the flow of present plans to devolve responsibilities within the English regions.
The book charts the story of the railways under nationalisation and outlines rail privatisation in both the UK and other European countries. Salveson gives credit to recent achievements but attacks the fragmentation, increased costs and higher fares that have become a feature of Britain’s railways.
The author started the highly successful community rail movement, and he argues for more direct involvement of local communities in their railways. He outlines recent examples of local social enterprises bringing thriving services back to semi-abandoned stations, and shows how Britain’s heritage railway sector has been a successful model for not-for-profit rail enterprise.
Combining historical analysis with personal experience and political theory, Salveson “sets out an alternative vision for the future”, according to Maria Eagle, the shadow transport minister until recently reshuffled to environment, food and rural affairs.
The book, says Eagle, “should be read by any politician serious about reforming our railways to deliver a better deal for fare-payers and tax-payers”.
The national launch of Railpolitik: Bringing railways back to the community is at the York Railway Institute, less than five minutes’ walk from York station.
The address is: York Railway Institute, 22 Queen Street, York YO24 1AD
The event is on: Tuesday 29 October, 18:00
There will be: tea and biscuits, plus Paul Salveson, railway manager Drew Haley, and friends of the railway industry, local government and trades unions. Signed copies of the book will be available for the reduced price of £14.00.
Railpolitik: Bringing railways back to the community, by Paul Salveson, is published by Lawrence & Wishart, priced £14.99. Order online at www.lwbooks.co.uk, quoting ‘railpolitik’ for a discount.