Shares in bus and train companies took a tumble earlier this week as a Treasury leak suggested spending plans in the long-awaited Transport White Paper for an integrated national policy will be pitched much lower than expected.
Shares in operators Stagecoach, FirstGroup, Metroline and National Express all fell shortly after trading started on Tuesday, although their suppliers claimed surprise at the reactions.
‘I think what you are seeing is the first wave of City analysts trying to second guess what [deputy Prime Minister] John Prescott will come up with,’ said one manufacturing company executive. ‘It’s less than helpful.’
A spokesewoman for rolling stock manufacturer Adtranz said: ‘There seems to have been some amnesia over the fact that most of the orders and schemes in place or coming along are largely based on private-sector cash. London Underground is set to be a mixture and so on.’
‘If Labour is planning a volte face on everything it has said here before, we would have known by now,’ said one manufacturer. ‘After all, if they led the operators up the path, they’d end up in court.’