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56th CfIT Plenary Meeting - 17 July 2008

Agenda:

1. Chair's Introduction

2. Impact of Road Pricing on Business - CfIT (08) 24

3. NATA Work Streams - CfIT (08) 25

Coffee

4. Taxis/Rural Transport Study - CfIT (08) 26

5. Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) Consultation Response - CfIT (08) 27

Lunch

The following papers are for information only:

6. Notes of May Plenary (Dutch Visit) - CfIT (08) 29

7. Work Programme Update - CfIT (08) 30

8. Media Report - CfIT (08) 31

9. Calendar of Events - CfIT (08) 32

10. CfIT Website - CfIT (08) 33

11. Expenditure - CfIT (08) 34

12. Plenary & Pre-Plenary Dinner Dates - CfIT (08) 35

Minutes:

Present

Commissioners:
Peter Hendy (Chair)
David Leeder (Vice-Chair), Lynn Sloman (Vice-Chair), Neil Betteridge, Philip Davis, Gerry Doherty, Garrett Emmerson, Paul Godier, Neil Scales, Corinne Swain, Richard Turner, Harry Bush, Carolyn Dwyer, Iain Coucher.

Sir Trevor Chinn (Motorists' Forum Chair).

Other attendees:
Chris Hardwick (Mott MacDonald), Jo Baker (Mott MacDonald), Corinne Mulley (Newcastle University), Paul Knight (Faber Maunsel), Sarah Loynes (Faber Maunsel), David Prescott (Secretary - Motorists' Forum).

CfIT secretariat:
Matt Coleman, Neil Williams, Grant Allan, Ian Griffiths, Luke Blair (Media Advisor), Lara Thornton (Media Advisor).

Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received from Andrew Sentence, Graham Dalton, Neil Bentley and Helen Holland.

1. Chair's Introduction

Welcome to Christopher Macgowan
The Chair welcomed Christopher Macgowan who has succeeded Sir Trevor Chinn as the Motorists' Forum observer at Plenary.

Evening Seminar
The Chair recapped the round-table discussion among Commissioners of the previous evening, where the potential for undertaking a piece of work on the merits of high-speed rail was discussed. Given existing research commitments, it was agreed that CfIT would consider this for the 2009/10 programme.

May Plenary
The Chair commended the note of the meeting of the Netherlands Plenary in May.

Land-Use/Transport Planning - Settlement Patterns & Demand for Travel
Corinne Swain updated Commissioners on progress. A knowledgeable and participative Working Group had convened for the inception phase of the project in June. The study was now on-track for the delivery of Phases 1 & 2 to the November Plenary.

Events/Presentations
Garrett Emmerson appraised Commissioners on his recent appearance on Radio 4. Neil Scales gave feedback to Commissioners on his chairing of the 'Moving on Conference' in June, and undertook to provide a synopsis of the event for Commissioners.

Action: Synopsis of Conference to be circulated to Commissioners.

Network Rail Review
There was a short discussion on rail issues, precipitated by recent press articles on rail electrification. It was explained that the Network Rail Review was primarily concerned with rail capacity issues on five main rail corridors. Iain Coucher offered to provide feedback to a future Plenary.

Work Programme
A brief discussion ensued about progression of the vans project. It was agreed that the Secretariat and the Chair would review the current work programme and resources available.

2. Impact of Road Pricing on Business

The aims of the study were outlined to Commissioners and the future direction of the project discussed. Consultants Faber Maunsell then gave a presentation on the interim results of their work. A discussion ensued on presentational and modelling issues. One key message that emerged was that if businesses felt strongly that charging revenues should be invested in public transport improvements, this would be a powerful conclusion to relay to policy-makers.

It was agreed that the project was moving in the right direction and that it would be useful of the points aired within the discussion were reported to the CBI.

Action: Secretariat to provide feedback to the CBI on Plenary discussion.

3. NATA Work Streams

NATA Refresh Consultative Audit
Commissioners were appraised on progress on the NATA Refresh consultative audit. Commissioners sought clarity on whether the key themes outlined in the consultation responses were being picked-up in the summary evaluation, and whether the distributional effects and quality of life impacts had been addressed. It was agreed to invite CfIT's Strategic Advisor to re-visit the responses and evaluation summary to check whether these had been addressed. It was expected that this work-strand would report to the September Plenary.

Action: Secretariat to examine, via the Strategic Advisor, whether quality of life and distributional impacts were raised in the responses and covered in the summary.

Climate Change Workshop
CfIT was conducting a study aimed at identifying the transport contribution towards hard carbon targets, and the implications this would have for policy-makers. CfIT wished to convene a September workshop in order to elicit views from Commissioners on the key challenges facing Government. A Strategic Adviser would be appointed to act as facilitator.

Action: Secretariat to agree with Commissioners a suitable day to hold the workshop.

4. Taxis/Rural Transport Study

Lynn Sloman set out the context for the Taxis/Rural Transport Study. Consultants Mott Macdonald then gave a presentation outlining the main areas of the report alongside the results of their analysis. Commissioners discussed the way forward and considered themes for the cover paper.

Comments were aired on the possible size of schemes and subsidy. Commissioners acknowledged that the area of taxi costs, cost savings and subsidy levels was a difficult one. On quantative barriers, it was felt that the study should seek to create the conditions for medium-sized companies that could provide shared taxi services. Commissioners also felt that there was a need to understand how taxi schemes costs compared with bus subsidies. It was thought that local authority spending, per-head of the population, should be included in the study, with more work carried out to assess the wider economic and social benefits.

5. Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) Consultation Response

David Leeder provided Commissioners with an overview of the analysis contained in CfIT's response to DfT's consultation on the reform of BSOG. The current BSOG regime subsidised poor fuel consumption and did not fit comfortably with the Government's climate change agenda. CfIT's Incentive Per Passenger (IPP) proposal was considered by Commissioners to be a much better alternative to BSOG. It was noted proper consideration should be given to the timing of any changes to subsidy given the high cost of fuel.

Date of Next Meeting

The next Plenary meeting would be held on Thursday 18 September, at 9.30am in London.