British Transport Commission

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Corporate body

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British Transport Commission

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Description area

Dates of existence

1948-1962

History

The British Transport Commission (BTC) was created by Clement Attlee's post-war Labour government as a part of its nationalisation programme, to oversee railways, canals and road freight transport in Great Britain. Its general duty under the 1947 Transport Act was to provide "an efficient, adequate, economical and properly integrated system of public inland transport and port facilities within Great Britain for passengers and goods", excluding air transport. Its main holdings were the networks and assets of the Big Four national regional railway companies: Great Western Railway, London & North Eastern Railway, London Midland & Scottish Railway and the Southern Railway. It also took over 55 other railway undertakings, 19 canal undertakings and 246 road haulage firms, as well as the work of the London Passenger Transport Board, which was already publicly owned. The nationalisation package also included the fleets of 'private owner wagons', which industrial concerns had used to transport goods on the railway networks. It was abolished by Harold Macmillan's Conservative government under the 1962 Transport Act and replaced by the British Railways Board (railways, hotels and some shipping), the British Transport Docks Board (docks), the British Waterways Board (inland waterways), the London Transport Board (London buses and the London Underground) and the Transport Holding Company (remaining interests, in shipping, travel and road transport).

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