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A cutting response to a rail axeman

20th April 1985, Page 47
20th April 1985
Page 47
Page 47, 20th April 1985 — A cutting response to a rail axeman
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

IT IS DIFFICULT to realise some 20 years after the event that Lord Beeching, who died recently, was accused of being unduly biased against road transport. Rather would he seen to have been a staunch ally, for in four years as the first chairman of British Railways Board he reduced the staff by 100,000 and closed 2,000 route-miles of track, 900 freight depots and 700 stations.

This earned him the surprising reputation among some trade unionists and others of leaning so heavily towards the railways that he was unsuitable for the post, offered to him by a Labour government, of co-ordinator of Britain's transport system. In the event he refused it.

Lord (then Dr) Beeching's salary of £24,000 a year also caused uproar in Parliament. But the taxman, an even more ruthless axeman, left his victim with only £6,500 net.

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