The Beeching closures and those of the 1970s and 1980s left a lot of gaps in Britain's railway network and a legacy of inadequate capacity. Which lines should Beeching and his successor have kept, and what lessons can we learn from the closures today? Award winning authors Chris Austin and Richard Faulkner reveal the real stories behind some of the most controversial closures and draw some important conclusions for today's transport planners and politicians. They also pay tribute to some of the whistleblowers of earlier years, without whose intervention, the railway would be much smaller than it is today. As well as the closure of key routes that would add value to the network today, the authors look at the loss of many city centre stations that have stretched capacity at the remaining stations and inhibited the growth of services. Meticulously researched, this book also draws on the professional experience of the authors and includes much material never published before. Following the success of Holding the Line, which quickly sold out, Disconnected! tells the story of the flawed policy behind the later closures, the successes of reopened lines and the need to safeguard routes for the future. It makes a strong case for an increase of around 10% in the size of the network to meet today's transport needs. Illustrated with a good selection of images never before published, this is a book for policy analysts, planners, social historians and ecomists, as well as anyone who is passionate about Britain's railways.
Chris Austin is a Board member of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Railways and a co-opted member of the Railway Heritage Committee. He joined BR in 1967, working in local management and project planning. For 10 years he was the Board's Parliamentary Affairs Manager covering the period of privatisation. He set up and ran a political consultancy for the rail industry before moving the Strategic Rail Authority, where his responsibilities included producing the Community Rail Development strategy. He retired in 2009 as Head of Public Affairs for ATOC. He is a graduate of Cambridge University, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics and was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to the railway industry. Richard Faulkner (Lord Faulkner of Worcester) is a Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords, which he joined as a working peer in 1999. From 2009-2010 he was a minister in the government whips office, where he had spokesman responsibilities for transport. He is Treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary Railway Group, Vice-Chair of the Heritage Rail Group, and Vice-President of the Campaign for Better Transport. Prior to entering the House of Lords he worked as a parliamentary affairs and PR consultant. For over 20 years he worked as an adviser to the British Railways Board. He is a graduate of Oxford University, an honorary fellow of Worcester College, Oxford and a fellow of the University of Worcester.