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Socialist Renewal - third series: 3

Railtracks in the Sky

'New' Labour, Air Traffic Deregulation 

and the Competitive Market


Some of the world's largest airlines facing bankruptcy; American consumer groups calling for air transport re-regulation; National Air Traffic Services (NATS) on the verge of collapse only months after privatisation; an 'intensifying crisis' at London's airports; growing worries about operational standards in aviation; relentless pressure on the natural environment; these trends were clear long before the New York terrorist attacks. And yet, despite the compelling evidence of policy failure, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown press on 'unremittingly' with their schemes for deregulation, free markets and privatisation.

Their policies may bring about irreversible changes with profoundly adverse effects on airlines, workers in he industry, and the travelling public and the entire British economy. In Railtracks in the Sky, one of Britain's most experienced transport professionals explains the issues in language that anyone can understand. This informative book also clears up some of the enduring mysteries of air travel such as Overbooking, Negative add-ons and Bucket shops. But the core issue it addresses is that around the handing over of vital decisions to 'international' market forces. The subject matter thus has a significance extending far beyond air transport.

As one of the original Labour modernisers, Peter Reed concludes that 'New' Labour's policies are unrealistic, unworkable and based on no more than ancient dogmas. He shows that alternative policies are perfectly feasible. An international managed regime for air transport could be made to work, starting at European Union level. But this would call for a rejection of discredited 'free market' nostrums and a major reorientation of policy thinking. Railtracks in the sky aims to stimulate constructive debate on these themes. Agree with it or not, this is a highly informative, thought provoking and politically constructive book.





Price £9.99 

ISBN: 978 085124 671 0


pp 136



Read a review of this book by: 


Stephen Gruneberg; University of Reading











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