“A deficient performance”: The regulation of the train operating companies in Britain’s privatised railway system

Jupe, Robert E. and Crompton, Gerald W. (2006) “A deficient performance”: The regulation of the train operating companies in Britain’s privatised railway system. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 17 (8). pp. 1035-1065. ISSN 1045-2354. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpa.2005.10.002

Abstract

This paper focuses on the performance and regulation of the train operating companies in Britain’s privatised railway system. It places regulation in context by examining rail privatisation, with particular scrutiny given to the theory and practice of the franchising process which established these companies. The record of the regulatory authority is assessed up to the announcement in 2004 of its planned abolition. This assessment employs critical financial analysis, and draws on non-financial performance indicators, in order to examine the extent to which it achieved its five main objectives: increasing the number of rail passengers; managing franchises in the interests of passengers; encouraging efficiency and economy in the provision of passenger rail services; encouraging investment in rail services; and securing a progressive improvement in the quality of rail services. The paper concludes that the regulatory authority’s performance was “deficient” as it only achieved the first of these objectives. It places this failure in context by highlighting the fundamental problem—the flawed concept of fragmenting and privatising a loss-making rail industry in the interests of British capitalism. The “stronger” regulation envisaged by the Blair Government is revealed as a smoke screen behind which there is a continuing transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the owners and providers of capital.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Privatisation; Railways; Train operating companies; Franchises; Regulation; Strategic rail authority
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2008 08:56
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2014 11:33
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/2933 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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