A volatile economy and restructuring of the way in which commerce was conducted led to the necessity of legislation in the early 1930’s to promote the healthy growth of the transportation industry. The way in which growth would best be achieved was in the nationalization of the responsibility of transportation.
Post World War I transportation issues were no minor detail within the urban landscape. The condition of the cities and the industrialization that had created jobs that might require travel promoted a stern need for a successful transportation system. Even more important, the railways were necessary in post-war reconstruction efforts and were a potential solution to the problem that some faced in imagining a system of “garden cities” that turned the squalor of the urban environments to a wealth of beauty for city dwellers (Lodge 2002, 35). The urgency in creating legislation to transfer the responsibility for the infrastructure of the railways to the state was defined by a need to ensure that improvements and investment was made so that the system could keep up with the needs of the cities in restructuring (Lodge 2002, 36). According to Lodge (2002), the 1919 Ministry of Transport Act is representative of two competing policies which resulted in a shift from the concept of nationalization that meant public ownership to a concept of nationalization towards government subsidies to corporation (39).
The 1921 Railways Act was designed to put into place regulatory practices in regard to the railways. The Act provided that the corporations be forced to be regulated and standardized so that there was a public model from which the railways would practice (Callender 2008, 162). According to Grieves (1989), the Act was not intended to be a precursor for an intent for a nationalized railway system, but to help to stabilize the financial system. The central result of the Act stemmed from a recognition that