Fragmentation in transport operations and the case for system integrity

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe


EU, common transport policy, externality, intermodal service connections


The article draws attention to a problem area in the field of transport operations, which has been thrown into sharp relief by the fragmentation that has occurred as a result of privatisation of many types of transport operation in recent years: the problems of preserving system integrity. Although some awareness of the issue has been in evidence it is a problem, which, has very largely been neglected by political economy, and this article seeks to remedy that neglect. An economic analysis of fragmentation and system integrity in terms of the theory of externalities is presented and conclusions are drawn as to the manner and extent to which government intervention in transport operations to deal with the issue through an integrated transport policy are required. A number of cases of potentially problematic fragmentation effects are given and one instance is examined in some detail (the Fishguard to Rosslare rail plus sail connection), and it is shown that system integrity today is not just a concern within a particular mode in a particular nation state but also has a clear international and cross modal dimension.


Permission to publish the abstract given by Elsevier. Copyright remains with Elsevier.


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