Specifying the Railway for Scotland. Privatisation, Devolution and Regulation Since 1994
J Pugh, Transport Scotland, UK
In 2005, the UK?s Railways Act devolved powers to Scottish Ministers to fund and
specify rail services within Scotland. This represented the largest transfer of power
from national government since the passing of the Scotland Act in 1999 and the re-
establishment of the Scottish Parliament. This paper examines its impact on rail
strategy and delivery in Scotland.
Between 1948 and 1994, British Rail provided vertically-integrated passenger and
freight services throughout the United Kingdom. The 1993 Railways Act separated
operations and infrastructure and permitted the privatisation of all rail activities which
was completed by 1997. Scottish internal services and cross-border sleepers were
franchised in March 1997. A GB-wide process led by the then Office of Passenger
Rail Franchising (OPRAF) was used and National Express Group operated these
services until October 2004.
The 1968 Transport Act established the principle of subsidy for passenger services
deemed socially necessary but unprofitable. Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs)
were set up in major urban areas outside London to co-ordinate public transport ?
the only Scottish PTE (Greater Glasgow, subsequently Strathclyde) was set up in
1973. SPT were co-signatories with OPRAF of the initial franchise agreement.
Anglo-Scottish day services are provided by other franchises.
Association for European Transport