1963 Beeching cuts exposed: Earth-shattering environmental tour-de-force

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sun Apr 28 20:27:11 BST 2013

Doctor Who? Bomber Beeching and his War on the Railways
Kindle eBook edition has finally appeared on Amazon

This radio show includes phone interview with Richard about the book


Doctor Who? The Atomic Bomber Beeching and his War on the Railways

The book describes the efforts of the British Government to force the 
diversion of rail traffic to roads and the motor transport industry 
by shuttering much of the rail network. A key figure in this scheme 
was Doctor Who? - Doctor Richard Beeching - a physicist who it is 
revealed in this book for the first time helped to design the British 
A Bomb during his wartime work at top secret weapons establishment. 
Hence Atomic Bomber Beeching and his War on the Railways.
Beeching's reign of terror in the early 1960's resulted in the 
closure of a third of the UK rail network, mostly on on entirely 
specious grounds to please his political masters in the Conservative 
Party. Parts of the system that he closed are now being painstakingly 
and expensively re-opened. The railway that he saw at death's door is 
now carrying more passengers annually than its entire previous history.
So Beeching was wrong? Of course. But Richard Cottrell's book opens 
up a wide debate on why transport planners in the UK always get their 
knitting in a twist. Cottrell uses the Beeching cipher to explore the 
disasters of British airship adventures, the draw out motorway 
development saga, why the British motor industry produced so many 
dinosaurs and eventually collapsed, the long series of post war 
aviation maladventures including the ill-fated exploding Comet and 
the disastrous Concorde adventure, the drawn out fiasco of the 
Channel Tunnel, bizarre plots aided by Margaret Thatcher to block 
Docklands from getting a direct tube line connection in order to 
placate the City of London, the London Crossrail project and now the 
developing scandal of high speed rail transport. Cottrell brings in 
the long standing fatwa of British Airways and partner airlines to 
block high speed rail connections between the UK and much prized 
airline destinations in Europe.
He makes the contrast between the French way of get up and go and the 
British method of muddle and confusion which led to the utterly 
botched model of railway privatisation. This, he says, is nothing 
more than a giant roulette wheel run by the Treasury extracting huge 
bids to run passenger trains.
Cottrell is a passionate advocate of public transport, quite a 
contradiction for a former Conservative Euro MP, for which he is 
completely unapologetic
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Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be 
revealed; and nothing hid that shall not be made known. What I tell 
you in darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye hear in the 
ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27


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